Medical Malpractice and Wrong Surgery

Dec 14, 2019 — by Gary Zucker
Tags: Medical Malpractice Birth Injury

Surgeons in an operating roomAccording to a 2016 Johns Hopkins study, medical mistakes account for up to 10 percent of American deaths each year. This includes misdiagnoses, delayed diagnoses, and surgical mistakes. Even if a medical error does not result in death, the effects on a patient can be severe and require additional medical treatment to correct.

Facts like these are why the Brooklyn, NY medical malpractice attorneys of Zucker & Regev take doctor errors and surgical negligence so seriously. Below, we explore the issue of the wrong surgical procedure being performed and the legal remedies for these kinds of unacceptable errors.

Surgery on the Wrong Side of the Body

Some surgical mistakes involve surgery performed on the wrong side of a person’s body. This could mean operating on the wrong kidney or wrong lung. In some cases, that could even mean amputating the left arm instead of the right arm. Whatever the case may be, errors such as these are never acceptable.

Wrong Surgical Procedure Performed

It’s also possible for the wrong surgical procedure to be performed on a patient. A chart mix up or a miscommunication with the surgical team could result in wrong sort of procedure being performed. In matters of life or death, failure to perform the proper procedure could have tragic outcomes.

Performing an Unnecessary Surgery

Our Brooklyn surgical negligence lawyers have also noticed some cases in which an unnecessary surgery was performed on a patient. This could mean that the surgery performed was not necessary to address the patient’s underlying health issue. It could also mean that a patient who was not supposed to undergo a surgical procedure at all was mistakenly brought to the operating room.

Holding Surgeons Accountable

Whenever a surgical mistake is made, it’s crucially important the the surgeon or hospital is held accountable for their errors. We trust medical professionals with our lives and well-being. We expect surgical teams in particular to prepare for surgery properly, check charts to ensure the right treatment is performed, and work diligently to ensure the health and wellness of patients.

Legal Damages in Surgical Mistake Cases

Two kinds of legal damages can be sought following a surgical error: compensatory damages and punitive damages.

  • Compensatory damages are damages that cover financial and material losses associated with the surgical error. That could mean the cost of further surgery or medical care to address the surgical mistake, lost wages as a result of the surgical error, lost earning potential due to a disability that occurred as a result of the surgical mistake, and the emotional pain and suffering associated with the surgical error.
  • Punitive damages are not associated with any material loss. Instead, punitive damages are meant to punish the surgeon or medical facility for the harm they caused. The amounts sought can vary, though they are typically determined by the egregiousness of the error and the impact it’s had on the patient.

Our lawyers can help you decide whether it’s better to take a pre-trial settlement or seek damages in court.

Speak with Trusted Medical Malpractice Lawyers

If you or someone you love has been the victim of a surgical mistake, we encourage you to contact our medical malpractice and negligence lawyers. Zucker & Regev can be reached in Brooklyn by calling (718) 682-7652.

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