Hospitals have procedures in place to prevent wrong-site surgeries. Unfortunately, they still occur. Patients can be left with injuries that require extensive medical care. If you underwent wrong-site surgery, here is what you need to know.
Is the Hospital Liable?
Whether you can hold a hospital liable for a wrong-site surgery depends largely on if the surgeon was considered an independent contractor (IC). Depending on your state's laws, the hospital might not be liable if the surgeon was simply renting the operating room space to perform the procedure. The theory is that the hospital was not liable because the surgeon was an IC and you had no relationship with the hospital.
However, some states still hold the hospitals liable for wrong-site surgeries. In those instances, it is believed that regardless of the relationship between the hospital and surgeon, the act of opening its operating rooms for procedures makes it liable.
Can the Nurses and Other Staff Be Held Responsible?
Although you might be suing your surgeon for the wrong-site surgery, there is a possibility that you can hold the nurses and other medical staff who were present responsible, too. Your surgeon is not the only one involved in your medical care. At some point, the nurses, anesthesiologist, surgical technicians, and other medical staff likely had an opportunity to correct the mistake that was being made.
Whether you decide to hold them accountable is up to you and your attorney. In personal injury law, you can opt to sue just one party or others who might have played a role in your injuries. Opting to sue just the surgeon and hospital could be enough to guarantee compensation for your injuries.
What If You Did Not Require Treatment for the Wrong-Site Surgery?
In personal injury law, an injury that resulted from the incident is required to receive compensation. After a wrong-site surgical procedure, it is possible that you will fully recover in a short period of time and not require any ongoing treatment to make you whole again.
If that is the case, your compensation could be limited by the insurance company or court. To obtain a larger settlement, you might have to rely on proving other ways that the wrong-site surgery affected you. For instance, if you develop emotional problems after the surgery, you could ask for compensation to cover your treatment and emotional suffering.
Consult with an attorney, like one from Otorowski Johnston Morrow & Golden P.L.L.C., to learn more about your specific wrong-site surgery case.
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