Surgical Errors

Medical Malpractice Attorneys Serving Patients in Grand Rapids, Traverse City, and Detroit

Surgery can be a stressful experience, and surgeons are expected to be detail-oriented and very careful. Unfortunately, mistakes do happen sometimes. Some common errors include damaging a nerve, operating on the wrong body part, leaving a surgical instrument or sponge inside the patient’s body, administering too much anesthesia, or cutting into the wrong area of the body. If you suffer injuries due to a surgical error, the Detroit, Traverse City, and Grand Rapids medical malpractice lawyers at Neumann Law Group may be able to help you recover the compensation you deserve. Each year for the past several years, our experienced principal, Kelly Neumann, has regularly secured more than $3 million in injury cases.

Establishing Liability for Surgical Errors

You only have two years from the date of a surgical error or six months from the date on which you discovered there was malpractice to bring your lawsuit. Moreover, your legal counsel will need additional time to consult with an expert and review your medical records. Therefore, it is crucial to consult an attorney as soon as you suspect malpractice.

Not all surgical errors are considered medical malpractice. The key is whether the error fell below the accepted standard of care and caused an injury to the patient. The standard of care is generally the level of care that a reasonable, prudent health care professional with the same training and in the same specialty would provide under similar circumstances in the same location. This standard could vary when looking at two very different communities or based on the patient’s gender or age.

Some injuries that appear to be the result of a surgical error may in fact be more closely related to a defective medical device. In instances where a doctor or surgeon properly performed a procedure to implant a defective device, the patient or victim may have a claim against the manufacturer or distributor of the device under a product liability theory of negligence. While the statute of limitations on a Michigan medical malpractice claim is two years, the statute of limitation for a product liability claim based on a dangerous medical device is three years. If you or a loved one has been injured by a medical or surgical device or procedure, reach out to Neumann Law Group to ensure that your claim is made within the required time frame.

Unlike other types of medical malpractice, however, in most surgical error cases, it is straightforward to establish that a surgeon’s error fell below the standard of care. Surgical errors are preventable mistakes that go beyond known surgical risks. Your attorney will retain an expert, usually a surgeon in the same specialty, to provide an opinion and a certificate of merit.

In Michigan and some other states, a plaintiff needs to file an affidavit of merit in which a doctor from the same specialty states that the case is legitimate. These affidavits can be burdensome because they need to be filed at the time you file your complaint, before you and your counsel have had a chance to go through detailed discovery. It is crucial to give your attorney enough time to obtain a proper affidavit from an expert in the same specialty as the defendant. Among other things, the affidavit will need to specify the standard of care and provide the expert’s opinion that the surgeon’s actions or omissions breached the standard. The surgeon will need to respond by providing an affidavit that states he has a meritorious defense.

Michigan caps noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering or mental distress, when they are suffered as a result of a surgical error. The cap started at $280,000 but is adjusted each year. Economic damages are not capped.

Enlist a Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Traverse City, Grand Rapids, or Detroit

Patients trust their doctors, including their surgeons, to provide competent treatment and care. The Detroit, Grand Rapids, and Traverse City medical malpractice attorneys at Neumann Law Group are ready to assist you if you have been harmed by a surgical error. We represent people in Petoskey, Warren, Holland, Midland, Muskegon, Saginaw, Wyoming, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Flint, Ann Arbor, and communities throughout Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Contact us at 800-525-NEUMANN or via our online form to set up a free consultation with an injury attorney. We also represent people in California, New York, and Massachusetts.

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