Boston Surgical Errors Lawyers

Surgical errors are some of the most serious forms of medical malpractice. A mistake during a surgical procedure can cause lifelong or fatal consequences for the patient, ranging from nerve damage to uncontrollable bleeding. It is up to the surgeon and his/her operating team to reasonably prevent surgical errors with proper care and due diligence.

If you or a loved one suffered damages because of surgical errors or medical malpractice, contact a medical malpractice lawyer at Sweeney Merrigan Law. Our surgical errors attorneys in Boston know exactly how to handle these cases in a way that will benefit your family the most. We can investigate your situation, collect any available evidence, and file your claim within the state’s deadline. Let us handle your claim while you focus on recovering. Call (617) 391-9001 to speak to a Boston surgical errors lawyer today.

Why Choose Our Boston Surgical Error Lawyers?

  • We care about individuals, patients and families in Boston and have been representing people in the community for more than 10 years.
  • We know how to deal with insurance companies during complicated medical malpractice and surgical error claims in Massachusetts.
  • We strive for maximum results for our clients, even if that means going to trial. We have recovered millions on behalf of injured victims.
  • We operate on a contingency fee basis in Boston, meaning we handle surgical error lawsuits for no money upfront. You will only pay us after we win your case.

What Is Surgical Negligence?

Unfortunately, not all surgical complications give rise to medical malpractice claims. Certain elements must exist for injured patients to have the right to file claims in pursuit of compensation. In Massachusetts, a patient can only seek damage recovery if a tribunal believes the patient has grounds for a lawsuit. (While it is possible to file without approval, the plaintiff will have to pay a $6,000 bond to do so.) The tribunal consists of a surgeon with a similar job as the defendant, a Boston surgical error attorney, and a superior court judge.

The tribunal is more likely to approve a surgical error claim if the plaintiff has proved that the surgeon breached an expected duty of care and that this breach caused the damages in question. A breach of duty can include failing to properly prepare for the procedure, recklessly operating on the wrong patient, negligently nicking a nerve or artery, making an anesthesia error, or leaving an item inside the patient’s body cavity. The plaintiff or his/her Boston surgical error attorney will need to gather evidence to create an Offer of Proof to bring before the tribunal.

When Can You File a Claim for a Surgical Error in Boston?

You trust your doctors and surgeons to do what is best for you, uphold medical industry standards, and protect your health and wellbeing. You have the right to expect reasonable, prudent and safe care while in the hands of a physician or surgical center. While a failed operation is not necessarily a breach of this duty, a surgical error due to negligence is. You may have grounds to file a civil claim against one or more parties in Boston if someone negligently or recklessly caused your damages.

Negligence is the question at the heart of most medical malpractice, personal injury and wrongful death claims in Massachusetts. If someone was negligent toward you and this is why your injuries occurred, the negligent party will owe you compensation. Recovering a settlement or judgment award takes establishing (using evidence) that the defendant was more likely than not responsible for causing your injuries or a loved one’s death

What Are a Surgical Center’s Duties of Care to Patients in MA?

In general, establishing grounds for a medical malpractice claim in Boston takes proving a breach of the duty of care. The duty of care is the legal obligation a hospital, surgical center or its staff members owe you as a patient. All patients in Massachusetts have rights. Any infringement of these rights, resulting in an injury to you, could constitute medical malpractice. The average hospital or surgical center owes many duties of care to patients.

  • Treat the patient with respect and privacy.
  • Inform the patient about his or her health status.
  • Obtain the patient’s informed consent for a procedure.
  • List the benefits and potential risks of a surgery, as well as alternatives.
  • Properly prep the patient for an operation.
  • Adequately prepare to perform the surgery.
  • Sanitize all tools and equipment used for the surgery.
  • Count everything before and after the procedure.
  • Double-check that it is the correct patient, procedure and incision site.
  • Communicate with nurses, anesthesiologists and the operating team.
  • Prevent infections through proper postoperative patient care.

A breach of any duty of care by a hospital, doctor or surgeon that another defendant would not have committed in similar circumstances could qualify as medical negligence or malpractice in Massachusetts. This includes an error made during surgery. If a surgeon fails to apply the accepted standards of care according to the rules of the medical industry, and this is what caused you or a loved one’s injury, you will have grounds to file a medical malpractice claim in Boston.

Common Surgery Types Involved in Malpractice Suits in Boston

Errors and malpractice can compromise any type of surgical procedure in Boston. However, negligence-related mistakes tend to occur more commonly during certain types of surgeries compared to others. Learning the most common types of procedures that lend themselves to malpractice claims can help you discover whether you have grounds to file a claim of your own.

The following are common surgeries involved in injury claims:

  • Gastric bypass and other weight-loss surgeries
  • Plastic surgery
  • Vascular surgery
  • Heart bypasses
  • Brain surgery
  • Hip replacement surgery
  • Gallbladder surgery

Every surgeon has a legal duty to do his or her best in operating on a patient. Ignoring the rules, breaching protocols, and showing up for the job unprepared are all acts of negligence that could lead to liability for patient injuries. It’s your job as an injured patient to pursue compensation through a medical malpractice claim. No one will file your claim for you. You must act to protect your rights and file a claim against the at-fault surgeon, anesthesiologist, nurse, or hospital.

Common Types of Surgical Errors in Boston, MA

Many examples of breaches of duty in an operating room could lead to malpractice lawsuits. It is important to speak to an attorney about your particular case as soon as possible. A lawyer can investigate the cause of your injury, such as a negligent or careless nurse or surgeon. Then, a lawyer can bring a medical malpractice claim against the correct at-fault party based on the facts of your case. You can file a surgical error lawsuit in Boston by identifying what went wrong and what caused your injury.

  • Lack of informed patient consent
  • Poor preoperative or postoperative patient care
  • Wrong patient, wrong surgical site or wrong procedure
  • Anesthesia errors
  • Intubation errors
  • Lapses of communication among the surgical team
  • Misdiagnosing a condition during surgery
  • Preventable surgical complications
  • Cutting a nerve or artery
  • Damaging or perforating healthy organs
  • Leaving foreign objects behind in body cavities
  • Malfunctioning or defective medical devices
  • Lack of hospital sanitation or cleanliness
  • Preventable patient infections

Surgical errors involving the wrong patient or wrong procedure are “never events” – events that should never happen with due care. These mishaps are avoidable if the hospital and its staff paid attention, communicated properly and adhered to all medical industry best practices. Regardless of the specific type of surgical error that impacted you or someone you love, discuss your right to financial recovery with our attorneys. Contact us anytime, day or night, for a free consultation with a lawyer in Boston.

How Can a Surgical Error Affect a Patient?

Going under the knife puts your life, fate and future entirely in the hands of your surgeon and his or her operating team. While you may know there are risks associated with your operation, you never have to assume risks related to medical malpractice. If someone is negligent before, during or after your procedure, this could significantly impact your operation and ability to physically recover. A surgical error can cause life-changing health problems for an injured patient.

  • Nerve damage
  • Hemorrhaging
  • Stroke
  • Paralysis
  • Brain damage
  • Infection
  • Permanent scarring/disfigurement
  • Long-term disabilities
  • General poor patient outcome
  • Wrongful death

You have the right to ask questions after a surgery gone awry. Ask your surgeon exactly what happened. Then, describe the situation to the medical malpractice lawyers at Sweeney Merrigan Law, LLP. We will listen to your story at no charge in Boston. Then, we can help you determine whether the surgical error constitutes malpractice. If so, we can represent you and your family during a medical malpractice lawsuit. We will help you demand justice for the preventable injury or loss of a loved one after a surgical error.

Who Is Liable for a Surgical Error in Boston, MA?

Liability, or legal responsibility, for a surgical error will go to the person or party who committed the tort that caused the damages in question. Determining liability for a surgical error often takes an investigation from a professional, such as an attorney. The attorney will need to analyze what went wrong, why the error occurred and who is responsible. Then, your lawyer can help you file a claim against the appropriate party based on the rules of liability.

Most surgeons are independent contractors, not employed staff members of a hospital or surgical center. This means that if a surgeon commits malpractice that injures a patient, the surgeon will be independently responsible for damages. Most doctors and surgeons carry insurance with high limits for this reason. If the defendant was an employee of the hospital, however, such as a nurse, the hospital could bear vicarious liability for his or her malpractice. The hospital could also act as the defendant in your surgical error case for its own mistakes, such as hiring an incompetent surgeon.

What Is the Deadline on Filing a Surgical Error Lawsuit in Boston?

If an error during surgery injured you or a loved one in Boston, you do not have time to waste. All medical malpractice claims in Boston are subject to Massachusetts’ statute of limitations. This is a law that restricts the length of time a victim has to file a civil claim. With a few exceptions, patients in Massachusetts with medical malpractice claims have no more than three years to file their lawsuits. If you wait too long and miss this deadline, you will most likely forfeit the right to hold the defendant liable.

In most cases, the medical malpractice statute of limitations starts counting down on the date of the physician’s error. If you awoke from your surgery and were told that a surgeon made an error, for example, you would have exactly three years from that date to bring a medical malpractice lawsuit. The discovery rule may apply to your claim and extend the deadline, however, if you did not discover the surgical error until later. The most common example of this is a foreign object left behind in a patient’s body after a surgery.

Cases involving retained foreign objects, such as surgical sponges or scalpels, typically have longer deadlines since the patient may not notice the issue until weeks or months after the operation. Most patients do not discover retained objects until they have been in the body long enough to cause problems, such as pain, swelling, perforated organs or infections. If you do not discover your injuries until after the date of your operation, you will have three years from the date of injury discovery to file a claim in Massachusetts.

What Are Massachusetts’ Medical Malpractice Claim Requirements?

On top of the state’s deadline to file, you will also have to contend with several other rules for medical malpractice claims. For example, Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 231 Section 60B states that all plaintiffs must offer proof of medical malpractice to a special panel (called a tribunal) within 15 days of receiving the defendant’s response to a lawsuit. The three-person tribunal will consist of a state superior court justice, a licensed physician who practices in a relevant medical field and a licensed attorney. 

The tribunal will review your evidence and decide whether it is enough to raise the question of the defendant’s malpractice before you can continue with your surgical error lawsuit. Hiring an attorney from the beginning of your claim can help prepare you for everything you will need to do to bring a claim in Boston. The lawyers at Sweeney Merrigan Law, LLP have years of experience handling medical malpractice claims in Massachusetts. We know what it takes to bring a successful claim to damages in the Commonwealth.

What Compensation Is Available for a Surgical Error Claim in Boston, Massachusetts?

A surgical error could permanently alter your life. It is critical as the victim of medical malpractice to demand justice by filing a civil claim. A surgical error lawsuit could hold the at-fault party accountable for your injuries, losses and damages. It could force protocols at the surgical center to change – potentially saving other patients from experiencing the same harm you did. A successful claim could also help you and your family pay for related expenses through a settlement or judgment award.

  • Past and future medical costs
  • Disability-related expenses
  • Medications and medical device
  • Live-in care
  • Lost wages and future earnings or benefits
  • Legal expenses and filing fees
  • Lost quality or enjoyment of life
  • Emotional distress
  • Mental anguish
  • Wrongful death damages
  • Punitive damages

Discuss the potential value of your surgical error lawsuit with an attorney in Boston today. You can trust the amount an attorney gives you to be an honest reflection of the worth of your claim. Like you, a lawyer will want to maximize your financial recovery – not minimize it, as you will find is the case with insurance claims adjusters. Once you know how much your claim is worth, you and your lawyer can pursue maximum compensation for all of your losses.

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Who to Turn to for Help With Your Case

Surgical errors can be devastating for the patient as well as his or her family members. Permanent injuries, severe complications, and life-changing mistakes can all stem from one surgeon’s negligence. Although compensation won’t reverse your damages, it can make your future much brighter. If you believe a surgeon or other healthcare practitioner negligently caused your injuries, infection, or a loved one’s death in Boston, don’t wait – contact our firm to speak with a Boston surgical errors lawyer for help securing the financial recovery.

A medical malpractice lawsuit with help from our Boston surgical error lawyers could give you financial stability long into the future. A winning case could yield restitution for your past and future medical bills, pain, and suffering, lost wages, and mental anguish relating to the surgical mistake. You and your family can move forward with the means to pay for necessary treatments, medications, live-in care, and missed income. If a lawsuit sounds like what you need after suffering at the hands of a careless surgeon, call (617) 391-9001 for a free consultation.

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