Surgical errors are surprisingly common in the United States. According to a widely cited report from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), more than 200 million surgical procedures take place and at least 4,000 surgical errors happen in the U.S. every year. For victims of such errors, the consequences are often catastrophic, leading to serious injuries that require additional corrective surgeries and ongoing care. In tragic cases, victims die as a result of surgical mistakes.
In the medical world, many surgery errors are often referred to as “never events,” as they simply should never happen. When a surgeon or another medical professional is negligent and you are injured or suffered harm as a result, you can hold the liable person/party accountable by filing a medical malpractice claim—and our firm can help.
Contact Ball, Kirk & Holm, P.C. today to speak to one of our Waterloo surgical error attorneys about your legal rights and options. We serve clients in Waterloo, Iowa City and throughout Iowa.
Common Surgical Errors
Studies have revealed a wide range of surgical errors happen with alarming frequency in hospitals and other treatment facilities throughout the U.S.
Some of the most common surgical errors include:
- Operating on the wrong patient
- Operating on the wrong part of the body
- Leaving behind instruments and tools inside the body
- Damaging a nerve or organ during surgery
- Improperly administrating anesthesia
Additionally, surgical errors do not only encompasses mistakes made during the actual operating process but also negligence in post-operative care. Patients who do not receive adequate post-op treatment can experience infections, life-threatening complications, premature discharge, and other potentially dangerous situations.
Who Is Liable for Surgical Errors
In most cases, surgical errors are clear examples of medical negligence. Surgeons, anesthesiologists, and other medical professionals are required to provide an acceptable standard of care to all patients; failure to do so constitutes malpractice for which victims can hold medical professionals accountable. However, in some cases, another party may be liable in a surgical error case.
If a surgeon has a history of making mistakes or abusing alcohol or drugs prior to performing operations, the hospital or treatment center that employs the surgeon could be liable for negligent hiring practices. This is a complex issue, as some hospitals and treatment centers could be liable while others may not depending on the employment status of the surgeon (e.g. whether he or she is an “employee” or “independent contractor”). It’s important that you work with a skilled medical malpractice attorney in order to bring an effective claim against the correct person or party.
How an Attorney Can Help
Surgical error cases are rarely straightforward. In most cases, hospitals and fellow medical professionals will go to great lengths to protect doctors, even when they make obvious and avoidable mistakes. Additionally, medical insurance providers know that these types of claims tend to be high in value; as such, they often use whatever tactics they can to devalue, dispute, or deny valid claims.
A Waterloo surgical error attorney from Ball, Kirk & Holm, P.C. can help you fight back. With decades of experience and a track record of success, we have what it takes to go up against negligent medical providers, hospitals, and their insurance companies. We are not afraid to aggressively advocate for you and your recovery, even when that means taking your case to trial.
Real Clients, Real Stories
"My experience with Ball,Kirk & Holm was awesome."Terry D.
"Eashaan is a fighter! This law firm won’t disappoint!"Shea R.
The teamwork at Ball, Kirk & Holm were very informative & in constant contact.Russ, Personal Injury Client
Knowing that you or someone you love should have never been injured can be emotionally draining, but the first step in your recovery is speaking to an experienced lawyer who can help you understand your options and protect your rights. If you believe you or your loved one is the victim of a surgical error, we invite you to contact us right away and schedule a free, confidential consultation. Remember, in the state of Iowa, you only have two years to file your medical malpractice claim; the sooner you act, the better.