Determining whether a surgical error was medical malpractice is more nuanced than you might imagine. Unless you’re a Chicago medical malpractice lawyer, it’s unlikely that you’ll know if an error could constitute malpractice. That’s because certain surgical errors could be considered medical malpractice in one circumstance, and totally acceptable (legally speaking) in another.
With that said, there are some surgical errors that commonly lead to successful medical malpractice claims. These include:
- Surgery on the wrong part of the body
- Incisions made at the wrong spot on the body
- Surgical equipment left inside the patient
- Damage to the nerves
- Medication errors (too much or too little)
There are far more errors that may lead to a legitimate medical malpractice claim, but there’s a reason these are the most common.
For an error to be malpractice, the error must fall below what is called “the accepted standard of care.” This standard dictates that medical professionals “meet an accepted set of standards that another reasonably competent doctor would use if they were operating on a similar patient in similar circumstances.”
The standard gives medical professionals considerable wiggle room to make mistakes. It’s meant to prevent doctors from being liable because of unpreventable human error.
As you can see with the surgical errors we listed, for example, surgery on the wrong part of the body, these are pretty obvious mistakes. It’s hard for a medical establishment to prove that the doctor who mistakenly amputated the wrong limb was meeting the accepted standard of care.
But other errors, nerve damage for example, are harder to pin down. Different circumstances may make nerve damage a totally acceptable risk. The patient may be older, they may have previous nerve damage, or the surgery may involve very dangerous procedures near nerve endings.
Ultimately, the best thing to do is talk to a Chicago medical malpractice lawyer. When surgical mistakes are made, medical bills rack up quickly. Medical malpractice laws are complex and vary from state to state. You don’t want to leave a medical malpractice case in the hands of an inexperienced lawyer.
And that’s why you should learn more about the Law Offices of Scott D. DeSalvo. As a preeminent Chicago medical malpractice lawyer, we’ll provide the experience and expertise you need to be made whole again. Call the Law Office of Scott D. DeSalvo at (888) 487-8318 today for a free initial consultation.