Surgical Injury Lawyer
No surgery is without risk. Bad outcomes unfortunately occur. But surgeons and the surgical team are required by law to conduct their practices within existing standards of care, which in most cases avoids injury to their patients.
The Standard of Care Explained by a Medical Malpractice Attorney
The law defines the standard of surgical care to be that degree of care and expertise which reasonable surgeons would or should exercise under the same or similar circumstances. If a surgeon operates outside accepted standards, the results can be devastating to the victims of medical malpractice or medical negligence. When medical malpractice lawyers discuss the standard of care, they usually mean evaluating and proving that a defendant doctor breached the standard of care and harmed their patient.
Surgical errors can cause a range of serious injuries, which our medical malpractice attorneys have seen in the course of their representation of medically injured plaintiffs. These include brain injury, total or partial loss of the use of an arm or leg, catastrophic infections, injury to organs, and in some instances the death of the patient. Surgeons are rigorously trained upon being licensed and becoming board-certified. They must understand the patient’s anatomy as well as all technical aspects of the procedure they will perform.
Common Surgical Errors
Common surgical errors include:
- Misidentification (and inadvertent cutting) of structures within the operative field, such as mistaking tissue, nerves, or blood vessels.
- Leaving surgical instruments and/or towels or sponges in the patient after the conclusion of the surgery. Typically referred to as a “retained object” case it is a clear violation of the standard of care. Virginia has an extended statute of limitations for one year following the discovery of the retained object, Virginia Code section 8.01-243.
- Postsurgical infections can develop in the best of circumstances, but the failure to recognize and treat an infection in a timely manner following surgery can result in the loss of life or serious injury.
- The advent of laparoscopic surgery is a beneficial advance in the science of surgery. It does reduce the surgeon’s ability to visualize the internal organs and anatomy of the patient. Laparoscopic surgery is sometimes inappropriate, and a more complicated open procedure is the appropriate treatment.
Damages Available to Victims of Medical Malpractice
The law allows for damages including: the costs of hospital bills and other medical treatment, lost wages and missed employment opportunities, permanent injury and disability, scarring, as well as pain and suffering. In the case of wrongful death, those damages include the loss of companionship, as well as the loss of financial support provided by the deceased.
Our Virginia Beach Medical Malpractice Attorneys Serve All of Virginia and North Carolina
While surgical judgment is partly subjective, the law requires the surgeon to use judgment that is within the standard of care, and always with the safety of the patient first in mind. This is not an exhaustive list of surgical injuries. If you or someone you care about has been hurt by the negligence of a surgeon, from birth injuries to anesthesia injuries, you should contact one of our skilled Virginia Beach medical malpractice lawyers who have years of experience in evaluating, advising, and representing the needs and interests of the victims of medical malpractice.
Our Virginia Beach medical malpractice attorneys have a record of success, recovering substantial verdicts and settlements for medically injured plaintiffs. We offer free, no obligation consultations to potential clients and we handle medical malpractice cases on a contingent fee basis.