When you undergo a surgery, you put a great deal of trust in your medical team. The impacts of learning a surgical mistake occurred during your procedure can be mental as well as physical. In some cases, you may need to undergo further operations to correct the error, adding to the stress of mounting medical bills and time off work as you recuperate.
When you have been injured because of negligent mistakes during surgery, you have the legal right to hold your doctor and or medical personal involved accountable for the damage they have caused. Working with an attorney who specializes in complex medical malpractice cases can improve your chances of getting the compensation you deserve. Call a Harrisburg surgical mistake lawyer at Lowenthal & Abrams, Injury Attorneys for legal guidance.
Laws About Surgical Mistakes
Not all surgical injuries amount to medical negligence. Per 1996 Act 135 § 811A(b), a surgeon and their medical facility are typically liable for injuries caused by actions that deviate from practices a reasonable surgeon in similar circumstances would follow. As such, a surgeon who operates outside of medical norms due to a specific negligent act or a general lack of the necessary skill or experience may be liable for malpractice.
An essential element of any surgery is informed patient consent. As outlined in 1996 Act 135 § 812A(b), “informed consent” means a patient has been fully notified of the details of their procedure, the risks involved, and any medical alternatives. If the surgical injury relates to a lack of informed patient consent, the patient must show that having the correct information would have led them to make a different decision for their care. It is important to work with a surgical error attorney in Harrisburg who understands the legal concepts governing Pennsylvania medical malpractice cases.
Limitations on Surgical Mistake Lawsuits
To build a successful lawsuit based on a surgical mistake, plaintiffs must carefully follow the rules and regulations for medical malpractice claims.
Statute of Limitations
Filing a lawsuit past the statute of limitations may prevent a lawsuit from moving forward. In other words, missing this deadline could very well limit the possibility of receiving any compensation. The statute of limitations for a surgical injury case is two years, per 42 Pennsylvania Civil Statute § 5524(2). Generally, this means individuals have two years from the date of the procedure that caused their injuries to file their legal claim. Extended time could be available if the injury was not discovered until a later date.
Cap on Damages
Pennsylvania does not limit costs on actual damages for surgical mistake lawsuits. Plaintiffs can collect compensation for all the direct costs of their injury, including medical bills, anticipated future medical bills, lost wages, and “noneconomic” damages such as pain and suffering. However, there is a limit on punitive damages.
Punitive damages go beyond compensation for the related costs of the surgical injury and serve as a penalty against a negligent medical professional for especially grievous harm or conduct. For surgical mistake lawsuits, punitive damages are typically capped at 200 percent of the awarded compensatory damages under 1996 Act 135 § 812A(g). A Harrisburg attorney can help plaintiffs meet the criteria for a successful lawsuit based on a surgical error.
Let a Harrisburg Surgical Mistake Lawyer Help
Trying to juggle your medical recovery, pain management, work schedule, and insurance can be overwhelming enough. Taking on the responsibility of a medical malpractice lawsuit does not need to be another task you tackle alone. A Harrisburg surgical mistake lawyer can fight to get the compensation you need to help you get your life back on track and hold negligent medical professionals accountable. Contact Lowenthal & Abrams, Injury Attorneys, to discuss your next steps.