Mistakes in the health care profession are so common and so dangerous that some leading experts have identified medical negligence as the third-leading cause of death in the United States, surpassed only by cancer and heart disease. One of the most common forms of malpractice is a surgical error. This may occur in situations such as an operation performed on the wrong body part, an unnecessary procedure, a failure to recognize complications, an unwarranted delay in performing surgery, a failure to follow up with the patient after surgery, negligent sanitation of instruments or improper preparation for surgery, or leaving a medical instrument, sponge, or other object inside the patient’s body. If your family has been affected by a surgical error, the Pembroke Pines medical malpractice attorneys at Cohn & Smith can help you investigate your claim.Seeking Compensation for a Surgical Error
Since medical malpractice cases are complex, a thorough review of a patient’s records is necessary in order to determine a strategy for bringing a claim. Therefore, it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible after suspecting malpractice so that important deadlines, such as the statute of limitations, may be heeded. Under Florida law, there is both a statute of limitations and a statute of repose that limit the time that an injured person (or a deceased person’s family or estate) has to file suit, unless one of a few narrow exceptions applies.
In the health care context, malpractice occurs when a health care provider acts in a way that does not comply with the applicable standard of care. In other words, the surgeon performing the procedure did not act as carefully as a properly trained and competent surgeon in the same specialty would have acted. This may involve doing something that a competent surgeon would not do or failing to take a step that a competent surgeon would have taken. Expert testimony is usually required to prove the standard of care and the defendant’s deviation from it. An expert also will be needed to draw a causal link from the inadequate care to the victim’s injuries.
A plaintiff who is successful in proving a medical malpractice claim may be entitled to economic damages like reimbursement for medical expenses and lost wages, as well as noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering. Family members of people who lose their lives to an avoidable surgical error also have the option of bringing a wrongful death claim to hold a negligent health care provider accountable.Discuss Your Medical Malpractice Case with a Pembroke Pines Attorney
If you think you may have a claim against a physician or another medical professional stemming from a surgical error, you should contact an attorney to discuss your legal rights as soon as possible. It takes time to properly investigate a medical malpractice claim and to prepare the appropriate evidence. For a free consultation with an injury attorney, call Cohn & Smith at (954) 431-8100 or contact us online. Cases are usually handled on a contingency fee basis, so legal fees do not have to be paid upfront to get your case started. Our Pembroke Pines lawyers can assist victims of surgical errors in many areas of South Florida, including in Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Davie, Weston, Sunrise, Coral Springs, Pompano Beach, Tamarac, Aventura, and communities throughout North Dade County.