Filing a Claim After a Botched Surgery | Dreyer Boyajian LLP

What Are My Legal Options After a Botched Surgery?

Medical treatment is subject to a wide range of preventable errors. Surgical errors are one of the most common – and most serious – examples.

If you or a loved one suffered an adverse outcome due to surgical negligence, you may be able to recover compensation through a medical malpractice claim. However, it can be difficult to recognize when you and your family might have a case.

The medical malpractice attorneys at Dreyer Boyajian LLP can help you explore your legal options after a botched surgery. Contact our office in Albany or Saratoga Springs today for a free case review.

What Is a Botched Surgery?

Although most commonly associated with cosmetic surgery, botched surgical procedures can happen in any area of medicine. Some frequent issues associated with a botched surgery include:

  • Disfigurement and scarring
  • Post-surgical infection
  • Unchecked bleeding
  • Internal organ damage
  • Damage to nerves
  • Hematomas (accumulation of blood below the skin)
  • Deep vein thrombosis (the formation of blood clots in the body’s deep veins; if the clot dislodges, it can travel to the lungs, resulting in a pulmonary embolism)

It is important to note that all of these issues are considered standard surgical risks. They may occur even if the surgeon, anesthesiologist, and other medical staff involved in your care do everything correctly.

When Is a Botched Surgery Malpractice?

A botched surgery may constitute malpractice if one or more of the medical professionals involved in the procedure were negligent. Legally, negligence is medical treatment that falls below the standard of care. The standard of care is a legal term describing how a similarly qualified practitioner in the same specialty would treat the patient in a given situation.

Examples of surgical errors that typically constitute medical negligence include:

  • Pre-surgical errors, such as failure to obtain informed consent, failure to disclose potential risks, and failure to evaluate the patient’s candidacy for surgery
  • Wrong-site surgery
  • Anesthesia errors, including administering too much or not enough anesthesia, failure to monitor the patient during surgery, etc.
  • Leaving surgical equipment inside of a patient
  • Errors in post-surgical monitoring

If one or more of these issues caused you or a loved one harm, you may have a claim against the surgeon, anesthesiologist, and/or other staff involved in the procedure. Hospitals and surgical centers may also be liable for the negligence of their employees.

Can I Sue for a Botched Surgery?

The best way to find out if you have a surgical error claim is to contact an experienced attorney. Your lawyer will investigate your medical records and records of the surgery to determine if negligence was a factor.

Proving malpractice in a surgical error case involves the following:

  1. Establishing that the surgeon or other practitioner owed you a duty of care (i.e., you were a patient)
  2. The surgeon or other provider breached the duty of care through negligence
  3. This breach caused you injury
  4. You suffered damages as a result of the injury

In addition, New York law requires that a certificate of merit accompany claims for medical malpractice. This certificate establishes that your case has been reviewed by a medical professional with a background relevant to the matter (i.e., a surgeon) and, based on this review, has sufficient merit to proceed.

The certificate of merit does not conclusively “prove” that medical malpractice occurred. Rather, it represents the opinion of a qualified expert that you have grounds to pursue a claim against the surgeon and/or additional parties.

Medical experts play a significant role in malpractice claims. From assessing the evidence and identifying lapses in the standard of care, their expert opinions and testimony are often crucial for building a strong surgical malpractice claim.

What Is the Statute of Limitations on Surgical Error Claims?

The statute of limitations for the majority of medical malpractice claims in New York is two years and six months from the date of your injury. However, several exceptions may apply depending on the circumstances of your claim:

  • If you suffered injury because a foreign object (such as a sponge, a surgical instrument, a mask or glove, etc.) was left inside of you during surgery, you have only one year to bring a claim.
  • If your loved one died as a result of surgical error, you have two years in which to bring a wrongful death claim.

Regardless of the type of malpractice involved and the outcome, it is crucial to take legal action within the applicable statute of limitations. If you wait, you might miss the opportunity to recover compensation for the losses you and your loved ones have suffered due to surgical malpractice.

Contact a Surgical Error Lawyer Today

Medical malpractice claims are complex. Knowledge, experience, and results are all crucial when choosing a medical malpractice lawyer.

For more than 30 years, Dreyer Boyajian LLP has been assisting clients in surgical error claims and other cases of medical malpractice. When you work with Dreyer Boyajian LLP, we take our commitment to justice seriously. Our team fights for fair compensation on your behalf while providing the individual attention you deserve.

Please call Dreyer Boyajian LLP at (518) 463-7784 today for a free case review. Our medical malpractice attorneys serve clients in Albany, Troy, Schenectady, Saratoga Springs, and other areas of New York.

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