Suffering injuries after surgery due to medical malpractice can cause lasting complications for you or your loved ones. As a result, you may have to meet multiple medical costs, among other expenses, to cater to the corrective treatment. Based on this, you can seek legal remedies against the party responsible for the medical negligence that caused you harm after surgery.
When pursuing legal action, you need to build a strong and persuasive case to justify your need for compensation. Doing so requires you to work closely with an experienced attorney to help you assess the all-important case facts. Working with a professional is also essential because they understand the court process and are ready to provide all necessary guidelines for proper court proceedings.
At the Phoenix Personal Injury Attorney Law Firm, you will work with highly skilled and experienced personal injury attorneys on your case. We aim to provide excellent legal advice to help you identify the main issues in your case and how the medical professionals in charge of your surgery engage in medical malpractice. With our help, you can build a solid case supported by persuasive evidence to persuade the court of your need for compensation. Our services are available for any patient who suffered an injury after surgery arising from medical malpractice in Phoenix, Arizona.
What a Surgery Complication Entails
Any surgical procedure can involve serious health risks, as it is invasive and requires your doctor to access sensitive internal body parts. As a result, all medical professionals working in a surgical unit should uphold the highest standard of care possible when treating every patient to avoid medical complications.
Failure to observe the high standard of care imposed on medical professionals can result in after-surgery complications that may vary in severity. As the victim of medical malpractice, you may experience serious medical complications that require additional treatment to reverse the condition. Based on this, you need extensive care and attention before fully recovering and returning to your everyday life.
When seeking legal remedies for after-surgery complications, you must understand the factors that justify your case and how they amount to medical malpractice. You can decide to file a civil lawsuit against the responsible parties if you have suffered any of the following:
Wrong Anesthesia Medication Used
Before surgery, your medical service provider should run background checks to determine your medical history. These checks include your allergies to medications, including anesthesia. Some patients suffer severe reactions to specific anesthesia medications, making it important to ensure each patient receives personalized care.
After surgery, complications may also arise if the anesthesiologist uses too much or too little anesthesia, causing the surgical treatment to be ineffective. Based on this, you can also pursue legal action against them for the oversight that became the primary cause of your injury.
Dealing with medical complications from the wrongful use of anesthesia warrants seeking legal remedies, as the complications amount to personal injury. Your attorney will guide you through the most suitable path to follow when seeking compensation from the court. In doing so, you are better equipped to recover and continue with your daily routine.
Suffering from Infections After Surgery
Additionally, you may report an infection after surgery, indicating that the medical professionals did not close up the wound correctly. The condition may also indicate a lack of proper cleaning procedures before and after surgery, introducing bacteria to the open wound.
You may suffer from a mild or severe infection, depending on the bacteria's growth rate and the size of the open wound. In severe cases, patients may also go into shock from sepsis, an aggravated infection. Many patients have their limbs amputated or may even die from sepsis, making it a serious condition that remains common after surgery.
Upon determining that your infection is due to medical malpractice, you can engage an attorney to help you pursue legal action against the responsible parties. Your lawyer’s goal is to ensure the court understands the severity of your case and grants you a suitable compensatory amount.
Nerve or Organ Damage from Incorrect Surgical Procedures
Some medical professionals may use incorrect procedures to operate on you, resulting in organ and nerve damage. The effects of harm to your nerves and organs can be long-lasting and may create additional complications you did not anticipate. Due to this, you are likely to suffer other injuries and require further treatment to reverse the emerging body issues.
For example, if the surgery caused serious interference with your heart, you may need additional surgery to correct the damage. If so, you must request that the court consider your current predicament and award a compensatory amount suitable to meet all your needs. The court may also take additional steps to discipline the medical professionals involved in causing bodily harm to you during treatment.
Leaving Surgical Tools in Your Body
Patients have also reported facing after-surgery complications from undetected surgical tools left in the body. This is a display of serious negligence on the medical team’s part, and you should strongly consider filing a medical malpractice lawsuit against them.
If so, you need to consolidate all your evidential sources to show that you discovered the tools after surgery and that the medical team is responsible for the damages you now face. Many cases involving medical malpractice have been successful, but you still need to partner with your personal injury attorney to increase your chances of a positive outcome.
Possible Parties Liable for Medical Malpractice
Before establishing the most suitable strategy to apply when pursuing your medical malpractice case, you should identify the defendant you claim is liable for your injuries. To do this, your attorney should help you consider the parties involved in your surgery and their roles throughout the process.
Upon identifying one or more parties whose input is directly linked to your current medical complications, you can then prepare your case against them. The possible parties to sue in your medical malpractice case include:
The Surgeon Responsible for Your Operation
The most likely party to pursue legal action against is your surgeon, as they are primarily responsible for your treatment. They aim to remedy all the medical problems that prompted the surgery, allowing you to start your recovery journey. However, they may sometimes overlook their responsibilities, causing a medical malpractice issue.
Your surgeon can be liable if they apply the wrong surgical technique, resulting in damaged nerves or organs. They may also be defendants in your suit if they stitched up the open wound without confirming whether any tools remained inside your body, among other factors.
Your surgeon may also be liable even if their assistant or medical student was responsible for the oversights that caused your medical complications. The main reason for their liability is that they are the primary source of authority in the surgery room, and medical procedures require them to remain involved throughout.
When suing your surgeon, you should establish several factors, including their identity and credentials as a medical professional. Your attorney can help you obtain the required details to verify this information, so you do not have to worry about missing important details.
The Anesthesiologist Overseeing Your Surgery
Although your surgeon holds a lot of authority in the surgery room, the anesthesiologist and their assistant are liable if any anesthesia administration complications arise. Their main role is to ensure that your body responds well to the drugs and that you do not have any severe reactions to the medication, even after surgery.
They should conduct their due diligence to ensure you are not allergic to the anesthesia intended for use and that they administer it in the correct amounts. Since you are the claimant, you need professional assistance to obtain all the information that points to the anesthesiologists’ negligence. Your personal injury attorney should thus step in to obtain the required details.
The Hospital You Underwent Surgery In
Sometimes, medical malpractice errors may arise from the general hospital administration, causing you to suffer serious after-surgery complications. The hospital may be liable for providing substandard medical products during surgery, resulting in medical complications. For example, if the anesthesia used was beyond the expiration date, you can hold the hospital responsible for failing to keep inventory stock.
Similarly, if the hospital hires incompetent medical professionals, they can be the primary defendants in your case for failing to check on the staff’s credentials. Your case can also involve the hospital as a secondary defendant for failing to enforce proper medical procedures, which caused your post-surgery complications.
How to Establish Negligence in Your Medical Malpractice Case
You should begin building your case by preparing your strategy when you identify the suitable party to sue for your medical complications. Your medical malpractice claim mainly falls within the negligence category, which makes up the majority of civil cases.
Your personal injury attorney will guide you through establishing negligence, as the presiding judge expects you to present all four elements. Doing so involves conducting sufficient research and finding the required evidence to support all your claims. With your attorney’s help, you should present the following elements in court:
The Defendant Had a Duty of Care
All medical professionals have an established duty of care that they must always observe to provide the highest quality of medical services. They must also obey all professional codes of conduct and ethical guidelines to avoid serious patient complications.
Establishing the existence of a duty of care is fairly straightforward, as you will only need to access the hospital's guidelines and conduct guidelines. A medical professional’s duty of care is also established through the prevailing professional norms for anyone else in the medical field. You can Establish whether the defendant in your case acted reasonably by asking the court whether other doctors, surgeons, or anesthesiologists would have behaved the way the defendant did.
They Breached the Duty
You also need to establish that a breach of duty occurred to help you demonstrate the negative actions that caused you medical complications. Establishing the occurrence of a violation of duty involves showing the expected conduct of the defendant and comparing it to what they did.
For example, all parties in a surgical room must observe high hygiene and cleanliness procedures to reduce the risk of infection among the patients. If you developed an infection after surgery, your attorney should help you source information to show that the medical team overlooked their cleanliness obligations.
Additional ways to establish breach include showing that the defendant has a trend of violating medical laws, resulting in similar consequences as yours. You can use this strategy if your access to evidence is limited, as the hospital tries to protect its employees.
The Defendant’s Breach is the Primary Cause of Your Complications
Establishing causation is necessary, as it links the defendant to your current claim. The causation element in medical malpractice is crucial because it places liability on one primary person. Their actions must have directly resulted in your harm, making them answerable to your claim. For example, you can establish causation if you argue that you would not have suffered nerve damage if the doctor had been more careful with their surgery technique.
You Suffered Damages from the Breach of Duty
To conclude your case, you should establish that you suffered damages from the defendant’s negligence, justifying your need for compensation. Your main claim involves the extra medical expenses you must meet when seeking corrective treatment after the initial malpractice. Based on this, your attorney can help you organize the documents necessary to justify your claims in court.
Additionally, damages may extend to the physical harm and suffering you suffered. If so, you should also use all available evidential sources to support your claims. The following are commonly presented requests to justify your claim for damages in a negligence case:
Consolidating your medical expenses is important because you must justify your expenditures and the compensatory amount you request. With this in mind, your attorney will recommend keeping all your original medical receipts, doctor’s reports, and in-patient treatment reports with you.
You should also consolidate your medical prescriptions and receipts to show that you had to spend extra money to sustain treatment. Retaining your original receipts is advisable because it improves your credibility before the judge, but you can also present verified copies of your receipts.
Loss of Earning Capacity and Wages
Sustaining a medical injury requiring extensive rest may limit your ability to work and subsequently reduce your access to wages. Your claim for loss of earning capacity and lost wages is reasonable, provided you present the projected earnings you would have accumulated if the post-surgical complications did not arise.
Your attorney may advise you to present any opportunities for promotion or other professional advancements that you may have gained, especially if you suffer from long-term complications. This way, you can receive full and fair compensation for your losses.
Compensation for Wrongful Death
Losing a loved one to medical malpractice can cause dramatic changes in the domestic setting, making it important to pursue remedies on behalf of the deceased. Filing for wrongful death requires you to provide supporting documents to show all expenditures that cover funeral costs, medical expenses, and other procedures.
The court may also award compensation to cover subsequent livelihood expenses, especially if the deceased was a family breadwinner. Their award varies from case to case, and you may need to provide additional evidence for the court to consider your claims.
Pain and Suffering
You are also justified in receiving compensation for the pain and suffering you face from your after-surgery treatment, as it affects your life negatively. The presiding judge awards an amount based on a pain scale they will determine using discretion. You can aid your case by providing extensive details of the type of pain you have dealt with since the complications developed, and your attorney will help you prepare your summarized experience.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney Near Me
You must seek recourse when you or a loved one suffers a serious injury or medical complications from a negligent surgical procedure. You pursue legal remedies mainly to help you receive compensation for the medical professional’s negligence. Your case requires you to establish negligence, meaning that you must demonstrate the defendant’s involvement in all elements of negligence.
Due to this, you need to work with an experienced personal injury attorney who understands all the important points to meet and the quality of evidence to present in court. Partnering with an attorney also increases your chances of a favorable outcome because they will represent your claims in court on your behalf. As a result, you can worry less about the clarity of your presentation and focus on providing helpful details to your attorney.
At the Phoenix Personal Injury Attorney Law Firm, you will receive quality legal advice from trusted attorneys. Our team has handled hundreds of medical malpractice cases, equipping us with the necessary knowledge and skills to raise the chances of a favorable outcome. You can therefore count on us to provide the required guidance and representation to help you receive the rightful compensation you need. If you or a loved one have suffered injuries from medical malpractice after surgery in Phoenix, Arizona, contact us today at 602-641-9589.