Surgical Errors

Surgical Errors LawyerSurgeons have a professional responsibility to act with a certain level of care for a patient. If they fall below that standard of care, the surgeon becomes liable for all injury and damages that occur due to their neglect.

Unfortunately, errors during surgery are not uncommon. They may include any one or more of the following common errors:

  • Forgetting equipment such as sponges or other tools in a patient
  • Failing to make the correct incisions
  • Performing unnecessary procedures
  • Damaging nerves
  • Failing to property monitor the patient during surgery
  • Over sedating patients or committing other anesthesia errors

Only an attorney can tell you whether any of the above failures are cause for a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Elements of a Surgical Malpractice Lawsuit

Malpractice lawsuits for surgical negligence are made under Florida tort law (personal injury). A victim of malpractice must prove the following elements in order to be entitled to monetary damages for a malpractice case:

  1. A reasonably competent surgeon in your surgeon’s practice field would not have made the error that your surgeon made.
  2. The error was the actual cause and proximate cause of your injury or harm. Proximate cause means there was no intervening force or act that was the reason behind your harm.
  3. You experienced actual injury, for which you deserve compensation under law.

Damages in Surgical Errors Lawsuits

There are usually three types of damages that victims of malpractice or their survivors can recover in a surgical malpractice lawsuit: noneconomic damages, economic damages, and punitive damages. Noneconomic damages are damages that account for suffering and loss of enjoyment that is hard to quantify in numbers. This includes pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment, and loss of consortium for the surviving family if the victim died (or can no longer engage in certain activities). Noneconomic damages are subject to Florida’s non-economic damages cap of $500,000.

Economic damages are damages that are usually quantifiable, these can include medical expenses, projected future medical expenses, expenses for in-home care, and a percentage of lost wages and future lost wages. Economic damages are not subject to caps.

In egregious cases of malpractice a victim may also be able to recover punitive damages. These damages are not designed to compensate you, but rather are designed to punish the wrongdoer. Punitive damages are generally reserved for extraordinarily wrongful malpractice because eligibility to receive punitive damages is much harder to prove and typically requires grossly negligent behavior or international wrongs.

Contact a West Palm Beach Surgical Errors Attorney

Call 561-832-4848 to schedule a free consultation with a West Palm Beach surgical errors lawyer at the Law Offices of William E. Johnson, P.A. Our offices serve West Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Ft. Lauderdale, and all of South Florida.