While the aftermath of any surgical error can be traumatic, not all errors during surgery constitute medical malpractice. In other words, even though a surgical error caused your injury, there must be certain elements present for the error to be considered medical malpractice.
How Do I Prove a Surgical Error Was Medical Malpractice?
In order to prove medical malpractice, the following four elements must be present:
- Doctor-patient relationship – There was a doctor-patient relationship between yourself and the surgeon. This also means that you agreed to allow the surgeon to perform surgery on you, and the surgeon agreed to perform the surgery. Generally speaking, if a surgeon is performing surgery on you, there is a doctor-patient relationship.
- The doctor exhibited negligence – This is an important element. You may be unhappy with the outcome of your surgery, but in and of itself, this does not constitute medical malpractice. The surgeon must have been fallen below what a reasonable surgeon would have done (or not done), and that negligence must have caused harm.
As an example, if you experienced a stroke while the surgeon was performing surgery, then he or she would not be liable–unless the surgeon did something specific that no other reasonable doctor would have done given the same circumstances.
In all medical malpractice claims, a medical expert will need to be called at trial to show how your surgeon deviated from the accepted standard of care and to detail what the accepted standard of care in this situation is.
- The doctor’s negligence directly caused your injury – Since many patients who undergo surgery are already ill or have injuries, the question may arise as to whether the surgeon’s actions caused or contributed to the injury. It must be shown that it is “more likely than not,” that the doctor’s negligence or incompetence caused your injury.
- Your injury led to specific damages – Even if it is clear that the surgeon’s actions were not up to a reasonable standard of care and were clearly negligent, there must be harm attached to your injuries, such as physical pain, additional medical expenses, mental anguish, and lost wages or lost future wages.
If you suffered a surgical error, which was the direct result of negligence and a deviation from the accepted standard of care, it could be beneficial to speak to a Phoenix medical malpractice attorney immediately.
Contact Our Phoenix Medical Malpractice Lawyers Today
If you believe that you or a loved one suffered harm caused by medical malpractice, it is important to seek legal help immediately. A medical malpractice attorney can review your case to determine if a doctor or a healthcare professional’s negligence led to your injuries. If so, you may be able to file a medical malpractice claim.
At Miller Kory Rowe LLP, our Phoenix medical malpractice lawyers know that families need an experienced legal advocate on their side when medical errors have harmed their loved ones. Contact us today at (602) 461-8640 for a free initial consultation and review of your case. We are here when you need us the most – and we will fight for you every step of the way.