Undergoing a surgical procedure can be an intimidating process. Trusting someone with your well-being while you are under sedation is difficult, and that trust should be respected. Unfortunately, surgeons can make careless mistakes, and when things go wrong, you may be left with significant harm and little knowledge of its cause. The medical malpractice lawyers at the Law Offices of Robert Dixon help injured individuals near Miami who have been hurt by a negligent doctor. When you are in this situation, you can assert your rights and pursue the compensation you deserve. We represent victims of medical negligence throughout Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties.Types of Surgical Errors
Although all surgeries come with inherent risks, patients trust their doctors to follow certain standards of care and act to minimize these risks. However, unfortunately, surgical errors are more common than one would expect, with an estimate of 12,000 patient deaths each year caused by doctors performing unnecessary procedures. Other examples of errors include:
- Surgery performed on the wrong body part;
- Improper sanitation in preparing for surgery;
- Failing follow proper post- or pre-operative care procedures;
- Premature discharge of a patient;
- Leaving foreign objects, such as surgical instruments, towels, or sponges, inside the patient;
- Misreading lab results; and
- Reckless decision-making.
If a surgeon fails to meet the appropriate standard of care, the result could be a severe injury or even the death of a patient. In these instances, the surgeon, staff, or hospital facility can be liable for damages.Take Legal Action to Hold Doctors Responsible
If you have been harmed due to a surgical error, you may pursue a lawsuit against the doctor, hospital, or other responsible party. To establish a claim for medical malpractice, an injured person must show that he or she had a doctor-patient relationship with the defendant. A surgeon agreeing to perform and performing a procedure on a patient establishes this relationship. It also must be shown that the doctor breached his or her duty of care. A surgeon’s actions must fall within those standards accepted within the relevant medical community for that specialization and situation. Falling below such standards would indicate a breach of the care owed to the patient. Finally, the patient also must prove that the breach was a proximate cause of the injury, resulting in actual damages.
Causation may be the most difficult element to show in surgical error cases, especially when a patient was already sick. However, a skilled advocate can determine what medical records or expert testimony from healthcare professionals is relevant or necessary to succeed on a claim. Damages recoverable to victims of a negligent surgical procedure may include medical costs, pain and suffering, lost wages, disability, or loss of consortium. For intangible damages, Florida has placed a limit on what is recoverable, ranging from $500,000 to $1,500,000. The statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims in Florida is two years from the date the injury occurred, when it was discovered, or when it reasonably should have been discovered.Seek Representation for a Medical Negligence Claim in Fort Lauderdale
If you have been injured or lost a loved one due to a surgical error, the medical negligence attorneys at the Law Offices of Robert Dixon can offer compassionate legal guidance. Countless individuals from Fort Lauderdale and other areas of the state have welcomed our efforts to protect their rights and hold accountable any parties that may be at fault. Call (877) 499-4878 or contact us online to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation regarding your case.