Medical Malpractice Lawyer:
Every year, thousands of surgeries are performed, and while the majority of them go well, some do not. Some Baltimore patients are unpleasantly surprised to find that even the finest of hospitals and most minor surgeries can cause lasting damage when things go wrong. If you suspect an error has been made in your surgery or that of a loved one, there are a few things you should do, including calling a medical malpractice lawyer right away.
4 Things to Do After a Surgical Error in Baltimore
1. Get Medical Help
Your health is the most important thing, so your very first step should be to seek help from a different doctor. Another doctor might be able to help you find a solution and prevent the mistake from causing as much long-term damage. Be sure to give your doctor a detailed medical history, concentrating specifically on how your life has changed since the surgical mistake.
2. Contact a Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Your next step, as soon as you feel up to it, should be to contact a surgical error lawyer in Baltimore. Your lawyer will take action immediately to make sure all records from your surgery are preserved, everything is filed with the court quickly, and experts are lined up to evaluate your condition and the surgery to help the court understand what mistake was made and the effect it is likely to have on your long-term health.
Make sure you choose a lawyer with extensive experience in medical malpractice, as this is a specialized legal area. Remember that the hospital, surgeon, and staff who made the mistake have a lot more money and medical experience than you do and access to a team of great lawyers. You need someone on your side who is capable of taking them on successfully.
3. File a Report
Work with your lawyer to file an official report with the Maryland Board of Physicians. This report can be anonymous, but if you’re working with your lawyer and plan to bring a lawsuit, anonymity won’t matter that much. Once these reports are filed, the board will investigate and may discipline the surgeon in some way or even revoke their license.
4. File Suit or Settle Out of Court
Depending on the extent of your injuries, the specifics of the situation, and the response you get from the surgeon or other medical professional involved, or their lawyers or insurance company, you may decide to file a lawsuit, or you may decide to settle out of court. Consult with your lawyer to decide the best course for your unique situation.
How frequent are these mistakes?
It’s not uncommon for someone who has suffered from a surgical error to feel alone. After all, what we see on TV or in the movies portrays medical professionals as universally dedicated and even infallible. And thankfully, most doctors are really dedicated to patient health and to keeping up their own skills.
But there are bad apples in every profession, and sometimes mistakes happen to normally dedicated surgeons simply because they stopped paying attention or performed surgery when they were tired and should have postponed. Rest assured that you’re not alone in your suffering. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, every year 7.4% of physicians of all specialties file a malpractice suit against them, and surgeons have the highest proportion of those lawsuits.
For reference, only 3.1% of pediatric doctors and just 5.2% of family medicine doctors will face a lawsuit each year, but 19.1% of neurosurgeons and 15.3% of general surgeons will. This does make a certain sense. After all, performing surgery on the nervous system is much more complicated and difficult than treating strep throat in a toddler, with many more opportunities for things to go wrong. But that doesn’t excuse a failure to exercise the highest possible standard of care at every moment.
The Most Common Surgical Errors
One of the most difficult of all surgical errors occurs when a surgeon operates on the wrong part of the body. This is an entirely preventable mistake, and surgeons who make this kind of error should be held responsible for their failure to exercise due care.
Sometimes surgeons simply don’t take care during surgery, and mistakes can result. By going too quickly or operating in a cocky manner, surgeons might damage an internal organ, tear nerves, or even leave surgical instruments or sponges inside the body.
Sometimes, a doctor performs a surgery that simply isn’t necessary at all. Of course, the worst-case scenario here is an amputation, but there are plenty of other times when surgeries aren’t necessary or the wrong surgery entirely is performed. These are also largely preventable errors, and the surgeons who make them should be held accountable. If you or someone you love has been injured by a surgeon’s sloppy work or an avoidable error, you have options. Contact a lawyer and get started on holding your surgeon to account.