Dallas Surgical Negligence Attorney
Surgical negligence is one of the most damaging types of medical malpractice. Patients trust surgeons with their lives and well-being when they lie on the operating table. They never expect to be at the mercy of a negligent surgeon. When a surgeon makes even a minor mistake, it can lead to severe complications and death. Surgical negligence is completely avoidable, yet it occurs at an alarming rate: studies suggest that medical error is now the third highest cause of death in the U.S. If you have suffered due to surgical negligence in Dallas, TX, remember that you have rights.
Surgical Error Law
Surgical error law is a subset of the broader legal field medical malpractice. When a surgeon fails to give a patient adequate information before a surgery, performs unnecessary procedures, or makes a mistake during surgery, it falls under the jurisdiction of surgical error law. Surgical errors only qualify as malpractice if another surgeon would have reasonably done something different in the same or similar circumstances. A complication during surgery, for instance, is not surgical negligence unless a mistake caused the problem.
While some surgical negligence incidents occur during the actual surgery, they more often result from poor preoperative planning and failure to communicate with the patient or the patient’s family about risks associated with the surgery. Although a patient gives his or her informed consent to undergo surgery as proof that he or she understands the risks, this does not protect the hospital from surgical negligence cases. Surgical errors go beyond the known risks of surgery.
Proving surgical negligence requires that a patient fulfill a burden of proof, providing evidence that a surgeon breached his or her standard duties of care. There are a few common reasons for surgical errors that a plaintiff can use as proof of negligence:
- A surgeon may lack the skills to perform a surgery or may have never before performed the surgery.
- Poor preoperative planning. If a surgeon does not review a case or properly prepare for a surgery, it can lead to errors.
- Improper process. A surgeon may make shortcuts or cut corners during surgery, which can be dangerous.
- Failure to communicate. Successful surgeries require extensive communication between surgeons, nurses, and assistants. Miscommunication can lead to errors, such as operating on the wrong body part.
- Surgeons work long hours, which often causes fatigue. Tired surgeons are more likely to make mistakes than well-rested ones.
- Drug or alcohol abuse. It may be shocking to imagine a surgeon performing an operation under the influence of drugs and alcohol, but this type of negligence does happen.
- If a surgeon simply does not operate as carefully as he or she should – for example, by improperly sterilizing equipment – this is surgical negligence.
Surgical negligence can take many shapes and forms, from operating on the wrong patient to collisionally leaving an instrument inside the body cavity. Other common surgical errors include injuring a nerve during operation, anesthesia mistakes, and operating on the wrong body part. If a patient has proof of negligence, he or she can file a medical malpractice claim against the surgeon and/or the hospital.
Dallas, TX Surgical Negligence Lawyers
Medical malpractice is a serious allegation that requires significant evidence to win in court. You have two years from the date of your injury to file a medical malpractice claim in Texas, but contacting an attorney as soon as possible is in your best interest. If you or someone you know is a victim of surgical negligence, contact our team right away to discuss your case in a free, no-obligation consultation.