Who Can Be Held Liable for a Wrong-Site Surgery?
Posted in Medical Malpractice on January 25, 2021
Surgical procedures can be risky operations, but well-trained and competent medical professionals have the tools and skills necessary to prevent unnecessary errors. Unfortunately, not all surgeons uphold this standard of care, and far too often, Missouri residents suffer complications from wrong-site surgeries.
All medical professionals, including surgeons, nurses, physicians, and anesthesiologists, have a responsibility to uphold a certain standard of care when treating patients. If your surgeon breaches this duty of care and performs surgery on the wrong part of your body, you could hold him or her liable through a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Wrong-Site Surgery Complications and Damages
Surgeons have a responsibility to ensure they perform the correct procedures on the right patients. They must also ensure they perform a procedure on the right part of the body and that they recommend the right surgery for the patients’ needs. If your surgeon performs a wrong-site surgery, you can experience significant complications ranging from lengthier, more painful recovery times to permanent organ damage or the unnecessary loss of a healthy limb.
You can incur significant economic and non-economic damages from wrong-site surgeries, including the following.
- Additional medical bills to correct the surgical error
- Treatment for long-term complications
- Lost wages and loss of future earnings
- Psychological trauma
- Chronic pain
- Disfigurement and scarring
- The loss of a body part
- Loss of quality of life
How to Prove a Wrong-Site Surgery Case
You can hold any medical professional who treated you in a formal capacity liable for medical malpractice. In many wrong-site surgery lawsuits, the at-fault medical professional is the surgeon who performed the surgery.
Negligent surgeons who fail to uphold their standard of care and perform wrong-site surgery can face liability through a medical malpractice lawsuit. To establish the surgeon’s liability, you will need to prove four elements.
- A doctor-patient relationship existed between you and the surgeon.
- The surgeon breached his or her duty of care by performing surgery on the wrong site.
- The wrong-site surgery injured you.
- You suffered damages due to the wrong-site surgery you can collect in your lawsuit.
This liability may apply to any medical professional whose negligent actions caused you to undergo a wrong-site surgery. For example, an emergency room doctor who misdiagnoses you and orders an unnecessary surgery may face liability for the error instead of the surgeon, who, to the best of his or her knowledge, upheld the standard of care he or she was obliged to provide.
Hospital Liability for Wrong-Site Surgeries
In certain circumstances, the hospital where you received your surgery may also be liable for your damages. You can file a claim against a facility if your case involves one of the following scenarios.
- The at-fault medical professional is an employee of the hospital.
- The at-fault medical professional is a contractor who operates out of the hospital but appeared to be an employee of the hospital and the facility failed to inform you of his or her contractor status.
- The at-fault medical professional is a contractor with a history of incompetent or dangerous behavior, and the hospital was aware or should have been aware of the behavior and failed to take corrective action.
Contact Us Today
If you are filing a claim for a wrong-site surgery, contact a Kansas City medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible. Your lawyer will help you identify the liable parties and build a compelling claim for your right to compensation.