Was My Surgical Error Injury a Case of Medical Malpractice?

surgical errors hazlet njStatistics About Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

In 2012, an injured patient was paid compensation from a medical malpractice lawsuit about every 43 minutes. Overall, a whopping $3 billion was paid out in these lawsuits. Medical malpractice lawsuits related to surgical errors make up a large portion of these cases. Around 4,000 individuals are injured every year from preventable surgical errors.

Read on to learn about the common types of surgical errors and when they can lead to medical malpractice lawsuits.

Common Types of Surgical Errors

Surgery is a medical procedure that involves altering the body in some way. Surgical errors happen when a preventable mistake occurs during this procedure. The most common types of surgical errors are:

  • The surgeon operates on the wrong body part
  • The surgeon operates on the wrong patient
  • Nerve damage
  • The incision on the wrong body location
  • Leaving tools inside the patient
  • Medication errors
  • Organ damage
  • Cross-contamination

These types of serious errors are considered totally preventable. In the majority of cases, these errors fall below the standard of care expected of a surgeon. While you wouldn’t expect these types of events to occur, surprisingly surgeons operate on the wrong patient or leave a foreign object inside a patient over 20 times each week in the United States.

When Does a Surgical Error Become Medical Malpractice?

We can’t hold doctors and other medical professionals to an impossible standard. As Alexander Pope famously explains, “to err is human.” Doctors can, and do, make honest mistakes. Additionally, surgery is an inherently risky procedure even when performed to the utmost standard.

So, at what point does a medical mistake rise to the level of malpractice?

When a medical mistake fails to rise to the standard level of care, it’s often considered negligence. That means that your surgeon must have acted outside of the scope of care a similar surgeon with similar experience would have provided. It may be necessary to define the standard of care expected in your situation. The testimony of a medical expert may be necessary to define that standard.

The above types of surgical errors are all defined by the federal government as “never events.” That means they rise to the level of medical malpractice, which means you have legal recourse through a lawsuit.

Contact a Middletown Medical Malpractice Attorney for a Consultation About Your Surgical Error Injury Case in New Jersey

Were you or a loved one injured due to medical malpractice in New Jersey? Then you need to talk to an experienced medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible for guidance on how to proceed. The Middletown medical malpractice attorneys at Rudnick, Addonizio, Pappa and Casazza are prepared to assist you with your legal claim. We represent victims of negligent surgeons, doctors, nurses, and pharmacists throughout New Jersey, including Middletown, East Brunswick and Hazlet. Call us today at 732-264-4400 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation. Our main office is located at 197 State Route 18 South, Suite 3000, East Brunswick, NJ 08816 and we also have offices in Hazlet, NJ.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.