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Raleigh Surgical Error Lawyer

Most surgical errors are considered “never-events” in the healthcare profession – events that should never have happened with adequate patient care. Miscommunications amongst surgical teams, operating on the wrong patient or wrong body part, and making careless mistakes such as nicking an artery are all examples of surgical errors that could give rise to medical malpractice claims in North Carolina. If you or a loved one needs legal counsel about a surgical mishap in Raleigh, contact Riddle & Brantley for a free consultation.

When Does a Surgical Error Qualify as Medical Malpractice?

No surgeon can guarantee a positive patient outcome from every operation. All surgical procedures involve some degree of patient risk. A surgeon must explain the potential life-threatening risks or complications of a procedure to a patient, and get the patient’s informed consent, before entering the operating room. A surgeon must also perform the procedure according to accepted standards of care. Otherwise, preventable issues such as the following could arise:

  • Anesthesia mistakes
  • Wrong-site, wrong-patient, wrong-procedure errors
  • Inadequate planning prior to the operation
  • Poor communication before, during, or after the surgery
  • Negligent pre- and postoperative patient care
  • Incompetence during surgery
  • Leaving an object behind in the body cavity
  • Nicking a nerve or artery
  • Causing preventable complications
  • Patient hemorrhaging or uncontrollable bleeding

If a reasonable and prudent surgeon would have done something differently and prevented the patient’s harm in the same situation, the defendant is likely guilty of medical malpractice. A surgical issue that could have happened to any prudent surgeon, on the other hand, might not qualify as grounds for a lawsuit. The patient must have “clear and convincing evidence” that the defendant is guilty of malpractice to win a surgical error claim.

Who Is Liable for a Surgical Error?

The defendant in a surgical error claim will depend on who caused the harm in question, who else might have been involved, and whether not the negligent party was an independent contractor at the surgical center. Your case may take an investigation to answer the question of liability. In general, however, a surgical center in Raleigh will absorb liability in the following situations:

  1. One of its employees caused the patient’s injuries (e.g. a nurse or surgical assistant).
  2. The center failed to properly hire and train surgical staff members.
  3. The center consciously allowed an incompetent surgeon to continue practicing.
  4. The center did not properly maintain its equipment, leading to a failure.
  5. The center had a dangerous premises (e.g. unsanitary operating rooms or dirty utensils).

If the lead surgeon or anesthesiologist was the party guilty of malpractice, the individual (not the center) will likely be liable because most surgeons and anesthesiologists are independent contractors, not employees of the hospital or surgical center. Discuss the details of your case with an attorney to find out who might be legally responsible for your damages.

Trust Riddle & Brantley with Your Surgical Error Case

Surgical error and medical malpractice claims are notoriously complex and often difficult to win as an injured patient. Retaining the right attorney can significantly improve your odds of obtaining a successful settlement or verdict. Riddle & Brantley are established attorneys in the Raleigh, NC area. We have gained clients’ trust through years of outstanding legal representation and personalized services. Raleigh personal injury attorneys have what it takes to go up against major surgery centers in Raleigh on your behalf. Find out how we can help you during a free legal consultation.