Portland Medical Malpractice Lawyers Explain Surgical Errors in Oregon
Surgical medical malpractice occurs when a physician makes a mistake during the surgery, causing harm to the patient. Surgical medical malpractice is one of the most common areas of medical malpractice. Personal injuries due to surgical medical malpractice can cause catastrophic injuries which can lead to life-altering effects or could even lead to wrongful death. Unfortunately, there are many common surgical errors that continue to happen and continue to harm innocent people—including young children. Our Portland surgical medical malpractice lawyers know just how serious and devastating this type of medical malpractice can be and are here to help victims and their loved ones get the justice they deserve.
Oregon Surgical Medical Malpractice Errors
There are many different types of surgical errors that could cause harm to patients, leading to medical malpractice. Most of these mistakes are preventable if the medical practitioner perms the surgery properly and carefully. Sometimes surgical mistakes are due to surgeon inexperience and lack of oversight. Some of the most common surgical errors due to medical malpractice in Oregon include the following:
- Anesthesia Errors – Generally speaking, almost all surgeries involve some type of anesthesia. Anesthesia ranges from local anesthesia to general anesthesia. If the patient is given too much anesthesia or it is administered improperly, this can lead to permanent physical damage even wrongful death of a patient.
- Foreign Objects Left Inside the Body – Sometimes due to careless acts in part of the physician, foreign objects are left inside the body cavity. This can lead to infection, pain, other serious health issues, or even death. According to Open Access Macedonian Journal of Medical Sciences, this occurs in about 1500 surgical cases in the United States per year. Once identified, additional surgeries are usually required to remove the foreign object.
- Wrong Surgery, Wrong Patient – This occurs when a patient who was supposed to have another surgery, is operated on and another procedure is performed that was supposed to be performed on another patient. With proper procedures in place such as a “time out” prior to surgery to identify the patient and procedure they are doing, this should never happen.
- Wrong Site Surgery – This is unfortunately another common type of surgical error in which the wrong body part is operated on (i.e. the left lung is removed instead of the right lung). This can lead to devastating consequences, especially in regard to organ removal.
Why Do Surgical Medical Malpractice Errors Occur?
Unfortunately, surgical medical malpractice happens all too often. Common examples as to why surgical medical malpractice errors occur include:
- Incompetence – This can happen if a physician has never performed that particular surgery before or is a new physician that is not receiving proper oversight.
- Lack of Communication – This can happen if a “time out” is not performed at the start of the surgery so all health care professionals involved are not aware of the surgery being performed, body part location, medication administration, along with many other reasons.
- Improper Preoperative planning – if a procedure is not thoroughly discussed prior, especially a more complex surgery this can lead to mistakes that could have been avoided had the surgeon properly planned out the surgery.
- Fatigue – Many physicians, particularly surgeons work long hours which results in fatigue. As a result, they are more likely to make mistakes.
Common Injuries from Surgical Errors
There are many different types of injuries that could be caused by surgical errors in Oregon. Some of the most common surgical errors are those which result in permanent, disabling, or catastrophic personal injuries. This includes wrongful death, that ultimate personal injury. However, some of the most common surgical errors include the following:
- Enduring an unnecessary surgery
- Needing multiple surgeries to repair damage
- Nerve damage
- Amputations or loss of limb
- Restriction on the range of motion
- Damage to muscles, tendons, or other vital structures
- Inability to restore full function
- Loss of an organ
- Blindness or loss of sight
- Loss of other senses including hearing or smell
- Significant burns
- Paralysis including paraplegia or quadriplegia
- Broken bones or damaged bones, and
- Other types of serious personal injuries that our lawyers could help you with.
Proving a Medical Malpractice Case in Oregon
Medical malpractice cases are some of the most difficult types of civil lawsuits or claims to have to prove. This is because they are often hotly contested and require numerous experts to establish what the standard of care is and how the defendant or defendants violated that standard of care. Where there are significant damages, having economic, vocational, and life-care planners are also necessary to help prove a case. Victims who are seriously injured in an Oregon medical malpractice case definitely do not have an easy case.
In order to be successful in a case involving some of the common surgical errors in Oregon, a victim must establish that his case is more likely than not (or 51%) correct. This means that establishing your claim by what the law calls a “preponderance of the evidence” which is a burden of proof, or the amount of proof required to win a case. Think of the burden of proof as a confidence level in proving a claim.
How Much Does a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Cost in Oregon?
Most people are of the impression that lawyers are very expensive. Some people think that lawyers are unaffordable as well. While lawyers can be expensive, when it comes to personal injury lawyer that is not necessarily true. In fact, it is often times not true at all.
This is because medical malpractice lawyers and other types of personal injury lawyers accept cases on a contingency fee agreement. A contingency fee agreement means that the lawyer receives a percentage of the recovery the lawyer makes for you—but only if there is a recovery. This means if a lawyer accepts your cases and spends 100 hours on it but does not recovery and compensation, you do not owe the lawyer for those 100 hours. On the flip side, if the lawyer spends 100 hours on your case, makes a recovery, but after taking a percentage of the recovery the lawyer’s total legal fees are amount to lower than minimum wage, you do not owe the lawyer any more money for legal fees to bring the lawyer’s hourly rate above minimum wage.
Yes, the lawyer gets just a percentage of what you recover. That means that if the lawyer does not recover enough to satisfy minimum wage for the lawyer’s fees, then you do not have to pay any other legal fees.
It is important to note that litigation is always expensive and have many filing fees, medical record costs, and other expenses related to filing a lawsuit. Here at Kuhlman Law, we pay those expenses upfront and we only get reimbursed if we recover compensation for you.
How Can our Oregon Surgical Medical Malpractice Lawyers Help you?
Our Oregon surgical medical malpractice lawyers can help you by protecting your rights and can help you to receive compensation if you or your loved one was a victim of common surgical errors in Oregon. Surgical medical malpractice is completely avoidable and physicians and other health care professionals should be made liable for their mistakes. Examples of compensation that you or your loved one may be able to receive include pain and suffering, past, current and future medical bills, lost wages, and lost future wages, amongst many other indications for damages.
Get Help From Our Legal Team Today
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed as a result of medical malpractice contact the Oregon Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Kuhlman Law at our number below or fill out the intake form. We offer a free initial case evaluation and handle cases on a contingency fee which means that you pay no money unless we recover.
Our law firm handles cases throughout the state including Bend and Portland Oregon, Redmond, Central Oregon, Sisters, Madras, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, La Grande, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton, Cottage Grove, Florence, Oregon City, Springfield, Keizer, Grants Pass, McMinnville, Tualatin, West Linn, Forest Grove, Wilsonville, Newberg, Roseburg, Lake Oswego, Klamath Falls, Happy Valley, Tigard, Ashland, Milwakie, Coos Bay, The Dalles, St. Helens, Sherwood, Central Point, Canby, Troutdale, Hermiston, Silverton, Hood River, Newport, Prineville, Astoria, Tillamook, Lincoln City, Hillsboro, and Vancouver, Washington.
We also have an office in Minneapolis, Minnesota and take medical malpractice cases throughout the Twin Cities, including St. Paul, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Dakota County, Washington County, Anoka County, Scott County, Blaine, Stillwater, and Saint Paul Minnesota.