While a surgical procedure always carries some element of risk, surgeons—as well as other medical professionals assisting them—are still expected to do everything they can to minimize the risk of their patient suffering serious harm from an operation. A physician who fails to meet the applicable “standard of care” and allows a patient to get hurt or sick as a result may hold civil liability for any losses the patient experiences because of their avoidable condition.

As any well-practiced medical malpractice attorney could tell you, though, establishing liability for this type of medical mistake can be a challenging process. Guidance from a seasoned Clearwater surgical error lawyer at Perenich Law Injury Attorneys could be vital to building the strongest possible case after sustaining any kind of preventable harm due to misconduct. We are 3 brothers helping others.

When Does a Surgical Error Count as Legally Actionable Negligence?

Surgical errors may stem from mistakes made by people performing various roles related to an operation, including but not limited to:

  • Operating on the wrong body part
  • Lack of proper training or experience
  • Failure to provide sufficient pre-op and post-op care and guidance
  • Failure to tailor an operation to a specific patient’s needs and condition
  • Miscommunication or lack of communication between a surgeon and their support staff
  • Failure to inform a patient of all known risks and complications that a procedure may have

The important consideration when filing suit over a surgical error is not so much what the error was or who was involved in committing it, but rather whether the error constituted a violation of the applicable “standard of care.” Healthcare professionals are held to a “standard of care” based on what an equally qualified and experienced physician would have done under the same or similar circumstances.

In practice, this means not every mistake made during a surgical procedure could justify a civil claim, depending on the working conditions of the professionals involved and the circumstances under which they were operating. Working with a skilled Clearwater surgical error attorney could be crucial to effectively establish fault for injuries that come from this type of situation.

Negligent Acts that Lead to Surgical Errors

Regardless of how routine a medical procedure might seem, there is still a risk of injury, especially if somebody on a surgical team makes a careless mistake. Consequently, surgeons and other medical staff in the pre-operating room, operating room, and post-operating room need to take precautions to minimize the risk of errors throughout every stage of the surgical process. Frequently, someone on the surgical staff has a checklist they complete to ensure that they follow the same steps every time and nothing is left out. When doctors or other medical workers deviate from the checklist and their standard procedures, they can make mistakes that can lead to devastating or even fatal injuries.

Some of the most common kinds of negligent acts leading to surgical mistakes are as follows:

  • Performing a procedure on the wrong patient
  • Anesthesia mistakes, such as giving too much or too little to a patient – Anesthesiologists need to carefully calculate how much medication each patient should get based on their weight, age, overall health, and other factors
  • Damaging the area surrounding a patient’s surgical site by making careless or imprecise incisions
  • Leaving a sponge or other surgical instrument inside a patient’s body
  • Allowing an infection to develop or spread without identifying or treating it
  • Using a medical device that is defective
  • Failure to monitor a patient’s vital signs to see how their body is tolerating the anesthesia or surgery
  • Failure to monitor and treat a patient after surgery for problems and complications

A proactive attorney in Clearwater could carefully investigate how a surgical mistake occurred and ensure that the responsible party pays for their negligence.

Can You Sue a Surgeon in Florida?

Many people falsely believe that surgeons are infallible. They do not think surgeons could make careless mistakes because they have undergone so much training and schooling. However, surgical errors are alarmingly common in Clearwater and around the country. Some of these mistakes occur because of anesthesiologists, nurses, or medical technicians, while others directly result from a surgeon’s errors. When a surgeon makes a negligent or reckless mistake, and the patient suffers harm, they should be held accountable just like anybody else who makes an error.

Some operating room mistakes are unavoidable and occur because a patient needs emergency care, and doctors are trying their best to save a life. However, many surgical errors happen due to simple carelessness. Operating room mistakes can happen when a surgeon is tired, overworked, or unprepared. They can also occur when a surgeon fails to oversee and supervise their surgical staff in their care of a patient. Florida law allows injured patients to pursue legal claims against a surgeon and anyone else on an operating room staff who provided substandard care.

A qualified lawyer could help an injured patient prove that their surgeon was negligent by showing the surgeon breached the standard of care. Our experienced legal professionals could search for evidence showing that the surgeon failed to provide the care that another reasonable surgeon with similar qualifications and facing a similar patient and situation would have provided. As required by Florida law, our seasoned legal team could support the patient’s claim by providing an affidavit from another medical expert agreeing that the patient’s injury occurred because of the surgeon’s mistake.

Recovering for All Available Damages Within Filing Deadlines

A comprehensive lawsuit or settlement demand based around a surgical error in Florida should account for both economic and non-economic forms of harm, including additional medical expenses, lost work income, physical pain, and psychological suffering. Florida used to have an artificial “cap” on how much money a malpractice plaintiff could recover specifically for non-economic damages, but that cap has been declared unconstitutional by the state Supreme Court.

Even if the effects of a surgeon’s misconduct will last for decades, prospective plaintiffs typically only have two years from when they discovered their injury and four years maximum after the injury occurred to file suit, as per Florida Statutes § 95.11. There may be minor exceptions to these deadlines that a knowledgeable surgical error lawyer in Clearwater could further explain during an initial meeting.

Discuss Legal Options With a Clearwater Surgical Error Attorney

Going under a surgeon’s knife is a stressful experience under any circumstances, but you should be able to trust that the stress you undergo in the short term will help your physical wellbeing in the long term. If you instead sustained physical harm from your surgery, taking proactive legal action against the responsible parties may be key to protecting your future prospects.

A Clearwater surgical error lawyer at Perenich Law Injury Attorneys could review your situation and offer preliminary guidance about your recovery options during a private consultation. Call today to schedule yours.

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