What Should I Know About Medical Malpractice Claims and Robotic Surgery?
Posted in Medical Malpractice on April 26, 2021
In a medical malpractice claim, a patient holds a medical professional accountable for committing an act of negligence. A healthcare worker may be liable for malpractice if he or she misdiagnoses a patient, prescribes the wrong medication, or commits an error during surgery, among others.
Surgical errors are common in medical malpractice lawsuits. Due to advancements in robotic surgical technology, however, a human may not physically perform the operation. If you suffer an injury during a robotic surgery, however, a medical professional may still be liable for your damages.
What Is Robotic Surgery?
Thanks to advancements in modern medicine, some surgeons perform operations remotely using robots. This technology provides several advantages, especially for delicate and time-consuming surgeries; robots can perform manual tasks for extended periods of time without becoming fatigued. Robotic surgery also reduces the presence of human errors, such as those that occur because of hand tremors. This technology is far from perfect, however.
Errors and malfunctions can occur during robotic surgery, leading to painful consequences for the patient. This technology is relatively new, and engineers have not yet fine-tuned these devices. The robot may perform unintended movements during an operation, perforating nearby organs or performing surgery on the wrong site. Electrical sparks, broken pieces, or burnt equipment can fall inside the patient, leading to serious complications.
Filing a Lawsuit After a Robotic Surgery Error
If you suffer an injury due to a robotic surgery malfunction, you may have grounds to pursue a lawsuit. Determining the liable party in your lawsuit, however, can be a challenge. Robotic surgery errors can occur due to defective equipment or improper maintenance. You may also suffer harm due to improper training, inadequate supervision, and negligent errors on behalf of the surgeon or other healthcare provider who operated the machine.
In situations where the machine had a design or manufacturing defect, you could file a lawsuit against the manufacturer directly. In cases where improper training, poor maintenance, and human error caused the malfunction, you could file a lawsuit against the medical professional responsible. You may even name the hospital or medical facility itself in your lawsuit.
Do You Need an Attorney for a Robotic Surgery Lawsuit?
Although you may have grounds to file a medical malpractice claim, navigating the litigation process can be difficult without an attorney. To prove a medical malpractice claim in Missouri, you will need to gather clear evidence to support four key facts.
- The at-fault party owed you a duty of care. All medical professionals have a duty to provide a certain standard of care to their patients.
- The at-fault party breached his or her duty of care through a negligent act or failure to act. For example, leaving robot debris inside of your body is an act of negligence.
- The at-fault party’s breach of duty directly caused your injuries. For example, you may develop a worsening condition due to the presence of foreign objects inside your body.
- You can claim compensation for the damages you suffered due to the medical provider’s negligence, such as lost wages and additional medical expenses.
You will also need to prove that the at-fault party acted in a way that a similarly trained and competent professional would not have done under the circumstances. You will need to submit an affidavit from a medical expert establishing this fact when you file a medical malpractice claim in Missouri.
In these situations, a robotic surgical error attorney can help. Your attorney will have access to medical witnesses who can validate your claims and will guide you through each stage of your case. As soon as possible after the error, contact a medical malpractice lawyer to discuss your legal options.