How Do I Prove My Surgeon Made a Mistake That Caused My Injury?

By Greg Kohn

When your doctor told you that you needed surgery, you may have been frightened and apprehensive. However, you trust your surgeon to take care of you, and you believe the surgery is necessary because your doctor said the surgery was the best course of treatment for you. Unfortunately, surgeons make errors that cause severe injuries and deaths. In some cases, a surgeon’s actions may give rise to a medical malpractice claim. Our New Jersey surgical mistakes lawyers reviews surgical error cases during free consultations to determine if the victim should file a medical malpractice case.

Types of Surgical Mistakes That May Be Considered Malpractice

Many different errors and mistakes occur during surgery that could give rise to a medical malpractice claim. Common surgical mistakes and errors that can cause injury for the patient include:

  • Performing surgery that is unnecessary
  • Improperly sterilized surgical instruments
  • Incorrect surgical site
  • Failing to provide adequate monitoring before, during, and after surgery
  • Performing the wrong surgical procedure
  • Leaving a foreign object inside the patient
  • Puncturing or severing an artery or internal organ
  • Anesthesiology errors

The reasons for surgical errors vary. Miscommunication, neglect, or miscommunication cause some errors or mistakes. However, some errors are caused by a surgeon’s poor decisions such as operating under the influence of alcohol/drugs or operating when fatigued or drowsy.

A Bad Result May Not Be Surgical Mistakes —  Proving Liability for Surgical Mistakes

All bad results during or after surgery are not considered surgical errors. Surgeons, as with other medical providers, cannot guarantee a specific outcome from a surgical procedure. As part of a surgeon’s duty of care, the surgeon must explain to you the risks and benefits associated with the surgical procedure. The surgeon should explain why he believes surgery is the best option compared to other treatment options given the facts in your case.

Failing to provide all information required for you to make an informed decision about surgery could be considered medical malpractice. However, failing to obtain informed consent does not apply in certain situations, such as an emergency situation that could result in the death of the patient.

For other cases of surgical error, you must prove that the doctor’s error was negligent because it violated the generally accepted standard of care. It is not sufficient under New Jersey medical malpractice laws for you to prove that you were injured. You must prove that the injury was the direct result of the surgeon’s breach of standard care.

Because there is not a universal standard of care applied in each case, you must establish the standard of care in your case. Our New Jersey surgical mistakes lawyer enlists the assistance of other surgeons that have experience in the medical field that applies to your situation. These surgeons must testify about how other surgeons would have acted given the same or similar circumstances. In addition, they discuss how your surgeon deviated from the acceptable standard of care and how the deviation caused your injury. Only by establishing the standard of care, proving the surgeon violated that standard and the error caused your injury can you recover compensation in a surgical error medical malpractice claim.

Call Our New Jersey Surgical Mistakes Lawyer for a Free Consultation

Surgical errors can cause traumatic injuries and death. If you believe a surgical error caused your injury or your loved one’s injury, you need to contact our New Jersey medical malpractice lawyer immediately for a free case review. The time to file a claim under New Jersey’s medical malpractice laws is limited.

About the Author
Greg Kohn is a partner at Nagel Rice and specializes in complex civil litigation cases, including professional malpractice, personal injury, class actions, wrongful death, products liability, and commercial litigation.  He has extensive experience representing clients in both state and federal court. Greg has tried many jury trials to verdict and has recovered over $50 million in settlements and verdicts in all types of personal injury matters including automobile accidents, wrongful death cases, slip and falls, and other catastrophic injury cases. Greg also handles medical malpractice cases, involving misdiagnoses, wrongful birth, and delayed cancer diagnosis. If you have questions regarding this article, you can contact Greg here.