Have you been injured due to a surgical error by a surgeon, anesthesiologist, or hospital? At Lattof & Lattof, P.C., we represent injury victims in medical malpractice claims to seek full compensation for their injuries. Contact a Mobile surgical mistakes lawyer today to review your case and help you explore your options.
How Lattof & Lattof, P.C. Can Help with a Surgical Mistake Case
As if the prospect of surgery isn’t frightening enough, what do you do when you find out that a surgeon’s error will require you to undergo additional invasive treatment? What if this mistake has caused serious and lasting injuries or complications that threaten your health? How will you afford additional treatment, time off work, or even the prospect of never being able to return to work?
Ideally, after a medical error leads to serious injury, the insurance company would promptly pay your claim so you can pay for your medical treatment and support yourself during recovery. Unfortunately, major insurance companies use teams of lawyers to fight medical malpractice claims and minimize the harm you have suffered.
Lattof & Lattof, P.C. is a family-owned law firm that has represented injured patients against insurance companies for over 65 years. Our Mobile personal injury lawyers use a combined century of experience to build your case, consult with medical experts, and fight for the compensation you deserve.
Medical malpractice claims in Alabama are notoriously complex and require both a legal and medical investigation. At Lattof & Lattof, P.C., our Mobile medical malpractice lawyers work with medical experts for assessments about the outcomes of surgery. We will investigate your complete medical history to consider whether the surgeon properly balanced the benefits and risks of the procedure and met the standard of care in your case.
After a traumatizing medical experience, you should be focused on your recovery. You don’t need to go up against an insurance company and experts on your own. A personal injury lawyer at Lattof & Lattof, P.C. is here to guide you through every stage of your medical malpractice case and fight for your legal rights.
What Is a Surgical Mistake in Mobile, AL?
A surgical mistake is considered a “never event,” defined by the National Quality Forum as a medical error that is clearly preventable and has serious consequences for patients.
A surgical mistake is any preventable error during surgery. These errors go beyond the known risks of surgery which you generally must agree to before your procedure. A surgical mistake is unexpected but should be clearly and easily preventable.
Surgical errors are a type of medical malpractice which happens when you receive medical care that does not adhere to the accepted medical standard of care. It isn’t enough for a surgical error to occur, however; to have a claim, you must actually be harmed by the mistake.
Common Types of Surgical Errors in Alabama
Surgical mistakes come in many forms. Depending on the type of mistake, patients may face serious and lasting injuries as a result of a mistake during surgery. Some of the most common surgical mistakes in Mobile include:
- Wrong-site surgery on the wrong part of the body. There have been cases of patients having the wrong limb amputated or a healthy kidney removed while leaving the damaged kidney behind.
- Wrong-patient surgery performed on the wrong patient. For example, you may have been scheduled for gallbladder surgery while someone else in the hospital was scheduled for bladder surgery. A mistake can cause you to receive surgery intended for someone else.
- Leaving surgical equipment such as a sponge inside a patient.
- Performing an incision at the wrong site.
- Anesthesia errors from administering too little or too much medication
- Nerve injuries during surgery
- Lacerations or perforations of organs. For example, while removing a polyp, the bowel may be perforated which allows bacteria to enter the abdominal cavity. This can cause life-threatening sepsis.
About 75% of surgical mistakes occur during the surgery itself. The remaining mistakes happen pre-op or post-op.
How Common Are Surgical Errors?
There’s no doubt that surgeons face an incredibly difficult task. They are under tremendous pressure to work long hours and perform very complicated surgical procedures with a small margin for error. However, surgeons can and should be held accountable when they make avoidable mistakes that cause harm to patients.
Sadly, surgical errors are not uncommon and may be life-changing for patients. Every year, about 4,000 surgical mistakes happen across the United States. These mistakes can leave victims with worsened health, the need for corrective surgery and potential complications, and long-term side effects.
What Causes Surgical Errors?
Because a surgical error is a “never event” that is preventable, it’s virtually always caused by some type of negligence. There are many reasons a surgical mistake may occur, however. Common reasons for surgical mistakes include:
Surgeons notoriously work long hours and sometimes remain in surgery for 10 or more hours with a patient. Surgeons are vulnerable to the effects of fatigue like anyone else. According to the American College of Surgeons, fatigue can delay recognition of critical situations, impair decision-making, and prolong reaction time. Sometimes this directly leads to errors during surgery.
Insufficient pre-op planning
To be prepared for surgery, a surgeon may review complications that are likely to happen and work with a team of professionals to ensure necessary equipment is ready and available.
Sometimes a surgeon simply does not have the skill necessary to perform a successful surgery.
Many surgical mistakes are the result of poor communication. This can lead to the wrong surgical site being marked or needed equipment not being available.
These are only a handful of examples of factors that can contribute to surgical errors. Your Mobile medical malpractice lawyer at Lattof & Lattof, P.C. will work with you to investigate your surgery and what happened leading up to the procedure.
The Consequences of a Surgical Error
A surgical error can be life-changing. In the most severe cases, usually involving anesthesia mistakes, a patient may be left with brain death or brain damage. Sometimes patients even die due to mistakes during surgery or are left with a healthy body part being removed.
Some mistakes can be treated as long as symptoms are recognized promptly. This may require you to undergo revision surgery which comes with additional risks. After a surgical mistake, you may experience:
- Intense and sharp pain near the surgical site
- Redness, swelling, or soreness near the incision that indicates infection
- Abdominal pain
After a surgical error, many patients require more intensive treatment than they originally expected. This can mean an extended hospital stay, more time off work, and higher medical expenses. Along with the health consequences of surgical mistakes, they can also lead to severe financial consequences.
If you have suffered further injury, complications, and financial costs related to a surgical mistake, a Mobile surgical mistakes lawyer at Lattof & Lattof, P.C. is here to help. We will help you hold the hospital and surgeon accountable to fight for fair compensation for your injuries.
Proving a Surgical Mistake Case
It’s important to understand that bad results following surgery are not considered a surgical error. A surgeon cannot guarantee you receive a specific outcome and part of their duty is to explain the risks and benefits of the procedure.
In general, you will need to prove that the anesthesiologist’s or surgeon’s error during your procedure was negligent. This requires showing that they violated the accepted standard of care and that you were injured as a result.
To prove your case, your experienced attorney in Mobile will work to establish the standard of care in your case. This may involve testimony from other surgeons discussing how the surgeon deviated from the standard of care and how it caused your injury.
With many cases involving surgical mistakes, such as those involving wrong-site surgery or surgical equipment that is left behind, proving that a surgical error occurred is the easiest part of your case.
Compensation for a Surgical Mistake in Mobile, AL
A surgical mistake can leave you with serious and life-changing complications. You may face additional medical treatments and expenses, a more painful recovery, or even the loss of a limb of functionality of part of your body. At Lattof & Lattof, P.C., a Mobile surgical error lawyer will help you fight for the fair compensation you deserve after your botched surgery.
When you are harmed due to medical malpractice, you may have the right to recover compensation for:
- Future medical expenses related to your injuries including additional procedures or hospital stays
- Lost wages and reduced earning capacity (when left disabled) for the time you had to take off work
- Pain and suffering and other non-economic damages like emotional distress and disfigurement
If you lost a loved one due to a surgical mistake, you may also be entitled to compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit. This can provide compensation for additional damages like loss of consortium and the lost wages your loved one would have provided.
Statute of Limitations for Surgical Mistake Claims in Alabama
In Alabama, you have a time limit to file a surgical error lawsuit. This statute of limitations is just two years from the date of your surgical mistake. If you do not file a claim before this deadline expires, you lose your legal right to compensation.
It’s crucial to take action as soon as possible, however. The longer you wait to contact a surgical mistake lawyer in Mobile, the harder it can be to gather evidence to support your claim.
Contact a Mobile Surgical Mistakes Lawyer
At Lattof & Lattof, P.C., we understand just how devastating surgical mistakes can be. Surgery is frightening enough without the prospect of an error leaving you with even more serious injuries, complications, and long-lasting effects. Our Alabama medical malpractice attorneys are here to fight for you to hold the responsible parties accountable for the injuries you have suffered.
We have more than 65 years of experience helping injured patients in complex medical malpractice claims. Contact Lattof & Lattof, P.C. today to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Mobile surgical errors lawyer who will fight for you.