Liability for Damages if a Doctor Performed the Wrong Operation

While it may sound unbelievable, the number of incorrect operations performed in the United States every year is high. In fact, a 2012 Johns Hopkins study estimated that a U.S. surgeon performs the wrong procedure on a patient 20 times a week. This can cause significant problems for a number of reasons – for one, the patient is still in need of the procedure the surgeon was supposed to perform.

So, if a surgeon performed the wrong procedure on you and you suffered damages, talk to an medical malpractice attorney about taking legal action. Ron Meyers & Associates can help, so call us at (360) 459-5600.

Understanding Cases Involving Wrong Operations

Types of Wrong Operation Incidents

There are two common types of wrong operation incidents – operating on the wrong site and performing the wrong procedure.

Examples of wrong site surgery include a surgeon removing the wrong kidney or amputating the wrong limb. In other cases, a surgeon might perform kidney surgery when the patient really requires appendix removal. This might be due to mixing up two different patients where one should receive kidney surgery and the other an appendectomy.

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Causes of Operation Errors

A wrong procedure incident may be due to inadequate procedures or processes when preparing for an operation. Surgeons always should mark the site to be operated upon and verify the patient’s identity and the procedure to be performed. Failure to follow proper steps or communication errors (among patients, doctors, nurses and other hospital staff) can lead to errors.

Below are some factors that may contribute to a wrong procedure incident.

  • Failure to check and verify patient information prior to surgery
  • Failure to mark the surgery site clearly
  • Poor care planning
  • Lack of hospital staff
  • Not performing a pre-surgery checklist
  • Medical team competency
  • Time pressures
  • Multiple procedures performed during a single operation
  • Poor organizational culture and training

The above is a varied list, and knowing the precise reason why a mistake occurred in your case can be challenging. A legal professional can help you collect evidence and discover the root cause of a major surgical error like performing the wrong procedure.

Consequences of Operation Mistakes

The consequences of the operation mistakes mentioned above are serious. Not only does an error like this mean that a patient doesn’t receive the surgery he or she requires, but it also means that the patient may be at an increased risk of complications or harm.

For example, if the patient required an appendectomy, the appendix requiring removal would remain if the surgeon performed kidney surgery instead. As a result, the patient is also at risk of complications stemming from the kidney surgery. And if the surgeon removed the kidney, the patient may now only have one kidney.

This is not to mention the anxiety, hassle and burden that needing to undergo another procedure can create. The costs can skyrocket.

Who’s to blame for major surgical errors?

In the event of surgical errors, the patient is the last person who is responsible. Many refer to surgical errors like these as “never-events” because they are completely preventable and should never happen. As such, the medical team is liable if it performs the wrong procedure on a patient and causes harm. The patient therefore may pursue a medical malpractice case against the negligent surgeon or other party.

In Washington State, patients who are the victims of incorrect operations can file a lawsuit within three years, according to the Revised Code of Washington Section 4.16.350. Talk to an attorney about your case and eligibility to file a claim for damages.

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Our Approach to Cases Involving Wrong Operations

At Ron Meyers & Associates PLLC, our approach to cases involving wrong operations is rooted in our unwavering commitment to justice, accountability, and the well-being of our clients. We understand that wrong operations can have devastating consequences for individuals and their families, and we are dedicated to helping you seek the justice and compensation you deserve.

Comprehensive Case Assessment

Our approach begins with a comprehensive assessment of your case. We leave no stone unturned in investigating the circumstances surrounding the wrong operation. Our experienced legal team works diligently to uncover the facts, identify responsible parties, and determine the root causes of the surgical error.

Expertise in Medical Malpractice

With our deep expertise in medical malpractice cases, we have a thorough understanding of the medical field, surgical procedures, and the standards of care expected from healthcare providers. We collaborate with seasoned medical experts who can provide critical insights and testimony to strengthen your case.

Personalized Legal Strategies

We believe in personalized legal strategies tailored to the unique aspects of your case. Our legal team works closely with you, ensuring that your voice is heard and your concerns are addressed. We value your input and involve you in key decision-making processes.

Advocacy for Accountability

Holding healthcare providers accountable for wrong operations is at the core of our approach. We pursue legal action with determination, aiming to establish liability and seek justice on your behalf. Our commitment to accountability extends to preventing future surgical errors and enhancing patient safety.

Protecting Your Rights

We prioritize the protection of your rights throughout the legal process. Our team conducts a thorough examination of your case, collaborates with medical experts, and navigates the legal complexities to safeguard your rights at every step. You can trust us to be your dedicated advocates.

Comprehensive Damages Recovery

Understanding the financial, emotional, and physical toll that wrong operations can take, we work tirelessly to secure damages on your behalf. This includes compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other relevant damages. We aim to alleviate the burdens caused by the surgical error.

Transparent Communication

Clear and transparent communication is vital in our approach. We keep you informed about the progress of your case, legal strategies, and any developments. You can rely on us for honest and open dialogue throughout the legal proceedings.

Experienced in Washington State Law

Our practice is deeply rooted in Washington State, and we are well-versed in the specific laws and regulations governing medical malpractice cases in the state. We guide you through the legal requirements and statutes that pertain to your case in Washington.

How Ron Meyers & Associates Can Help with Cases Involving Wrong Operations

Contact Us for Support

If you or a loved one has been a victim of a wrong operation, we invite you to reach out to Ron Meyers & Associates PLLC. Let us be your dedicated legal advocates, committed to securing justice, accountability, and compensation on your behalf. Schedule a free case consultation today by calling (360) 459-5600.

Get in Touch with Ron Meyers & Associates

If you’re the victim of a surgical error, the attorneys at Ron Meyers & Associates PLLC, can assist in filing a medical malpractice claim. Call our offices now at (360) 459-5600.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cases Involving Wrong Operations

Wrong operation incidents typically involve either operating on the wrong site (e.g., removing the wrong kidney or limb) or performing the wrong procedure (e.g., kidney surgery instead of an appendectomy).

Various factors can contribute to wrong operation incidents, including failures to check and verify patient information, inadequate site marking, poor care planning, communication errors among healthcare professionals, medical team competency issues, time pressures, and performing multiple procedures during a single operation.

Wrong operation incidents can have severe consequences, such as patients not receiving the necessary surgery, an increased risk of complications or harm, the need for additional procedures, physical and emotional distress, and significant financial burdens.

Patients are not responsible for major surgical errors as they are preventable “never-events.” The medical team, including surgeons and other healthcare professionals, may be held liable if they perform the wrong procedure on a patient and cause harm.

In Washington State, patients who are victims of incorrect operations generally have three years from the date of malpractice or one year from the date of discovery, whichever is later, to file a medical malpractice claim, as per the Revised Code of Washington Section 4.16.350.

An attorney can help by conducting a comprehensive case assessment, gathering evidence, collaborating with medical experts, filing necessary legal documents, negotiating with insurance companies, representing your interests in court if needed, and pursuing justice, accountability, and compensation on your behalf.

Damages that can be recovered in such a case may include economic damages (covering medical expenses and lost wages), noneconomic damages (relating to pain and suffering), and other costs resulting from the surgical error.

You can contact Ron Meyers & Associates PLLC for a free case consultation by calling (360) 459-5600. We work in medical malpractice cases and can provide you with the guidance and support you need.

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