Seattle Surgical Malpractice Lawyer
Negligence During Surgery
All surgery comes with risks and potential dangers. Even the most routine and common procedures can go poorly when the surgical team makes mistakes. Surgical malpractice is when the surgeon, anesthesiologist, surgical nurse or other medical staff injures the patient through an act of negligence. Medical professionals who cause injury or illness to their patients by deviating from the standard of care commonly found within the medical community can be held accountable for their actions.
The experienced Seattle medical malpractice lawyers at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. have the knowledge and the resources to handle serious cases involving surgical errors. We understand the physical, emotional and financial toll such situations can take on not just patients, but also their family members. Call us to find out how we can help you.
Proving Surgical Malpractice in Washington
There are no "minor" surgeries. Receiving anesthesia and going under the knife is a risk regardless of your health condition before the procedure. The last thing patients and their families want to hear is that something has gone wrong or that an error happened during the surgery. Not all surgical errors are the result of medical negligence, but all victims of mistakes made during surgery would be well advised to research their legal options.
Victims of medical malpractice can pursue financial compensation for their financial, emotional and physical losses. If you have suffered damages because of a surgical error (including errors during plastic surgery), you will have to prove that you were the victim of malpractice. You will have to show that the mistake that caused you harm fell below the medical standard of care.
Even if you are able to show that the surgical team violated the standard of care, you may still need to prove that you suffered "actual harm" because of the error during surgery. This may appear more straightforward, in wrong-site surgeries where the surgeon operated on the wrong body part, or in cases where the surgeon left instruments inside the patient's body. However, in other cases, it may prove more challenging to present evidence and show negligence.
Common Causes of Surgical Malpractice
There are many reasons why surgical errors occur. Here are some of the most common causes:
- Insufficient planning - The surgeon and his or her team must prepare for any complications that may arise. They also must ensure that all necessary equipment is ready and available.
- Incompetence - Inexperience is extremely dangerous in an operating room. When a surgeon lacks expertise, experience or competence in performing certain procedures, it is the patients who are in danger of suffering serious complications.
- Improper work process - Taking shortcuts may save time, but it can be extremely dangerous during surgery.
- Lack of communication - Bad communications between the patient and surgeon prior to surgery and a failure to communicate with staff during surgery can lead to a wrong site surgery, improper dosage of medications and other serious errors that could put the patient's life in danger.
- Fatigue - Surgeons are often asked to work long hours with little rest. Mistakes are more common when a surgeon has not been given proper time to rest.
- Foreign Object - Surgical tools, sponges, and other foreign objects are sometimes left remaining in a patient’s body after the surgery is completed. This is a known problem in medicine and is absolutely preventable.
Contact an Experienced Seattle Surgical Malpractice Lawyer at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S.
If you are the victim of a surgical error, please DO NOT hesitate to contact the experienced Seattle medical malpractice attorneys at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. who will analyze your case and help be sure that you are fairly compensated for all your injuries, damages and losses. Injured victims can seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost income, unnecessary surgeries or procedures, pain and suffering and emotional distress. Families of deceased victims can seek compensation and hold the at-fault party accountable by filing a wrongful death claim as well. Contact us at (888) 228-3860 for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.
- Is Scheduling Multiple Surgeries at the Same Time a Risk?
- Thousands of Mistakes Made in Surgery Every Year - WebMD
- Wrong-Site Surgery: A Preventable Medical Error
- What You Should Know Before Your Surgery - CDC