Even a small error during surgery can have major consequences, including a serious illness or a tragic fatality. Surgical errors may include negligent performance of the operation, unintentionally cutting open an internal organ, leaving surgical instruments inside the patient, performing surgery on the wrong body part, or failing to identify complications during the surgery. Surgery is risky, and it can become even more risky when an error is made. At Feizy Law Office, our medical malpractice attorneys represent patients throughout the Dallas area who have been hurt by negligent doctors.Seeking Damages from a Health Care Provider for a Surgical Error
A patient suing for a surgical error will need to show the accepted standard of care, the way in which the surgeon breached the accepted standard of care, how the breach caused injuries or illness, and actual damages. In order to recover compensation for a surgical error, a patient must prove he or she suffered injuries or illness because of negligence.
Some common violations of the appropriate standard of care include neglect, fatigue, misreading drug dosages, miscommunicating with a patient, misidentifying the type of surgery, performing surgery under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or poor planning before an operation.
In Texas, you can potentially recover both economic and noneconomic damages for surgical errors that qualify as medical malpractice. Economic damages include any medical expenses, lost income, loss of earning capacity, household services, out-of-pocket expenses, and other tangible damages. Usually, these are proved through documentation, although it may be necessary to retain experts to testify as to future economic losses, such as loss of earning capacity when a botched surgery results in the plaintiff being unable to work.
Noneconomic damages are damages that are not tangible and that may vary depending on what a jury perceives as the types of damages that naturally flow from a particular injury, such as pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment. These damages are capped in Texas. When the surgical error was committed by a doctor or another individual health care provider, your noneconomic damages are capped at $250,000. The exception is when you sue multiple entities for the surgical error, in which case you can possibly recover up to $500,000.
What if the surgical error results in death? In Texas, economic and noneconomic damages are capped for wrongful death actions against health care providers, but these caps are adjusted for inflation. As of 2015, compensatory damages are capped at approximately $1.8 million.Contact a Dallas Attorney When Pursuing Compensation for Your Injuries
If you are hurt due to a surgical error, you have a limited window within which to file your claim. You generally have two years from the date of the surgical error, the last date of a relevant course of treatment, or the last date of hospitalization for the relevant injury. However, the rule that applies may vary depending on the facts of your case, so Dallas residents and others should consult an injury lawyer as soon as they believe there has been a surgical error. Call Feizy Law Office at (214) 651-8686 or contact us via our online form. We also represent individuals in other Texas cities, such as Plano, Fort Worth, Arlington, Irving, and Garland.