Every surgery comes with a level of risk. Sometimes the risk is worth it, and sometimes it isn’t.
But you deserve legal relief if a medical professional’s negligence or misconduct caused a bad surgical result.
At Poulos & Coates, LLP, our experienced surgery malpractice lawyers can give you the best chance of receiving just compensation after suffering medical harm.
Contact us today if you need assistance.
What Is Surgery Malpractice?
Surgery malpractice is a form of medical malpractice. Under New Mexico law, medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider’s action or inaction departs from accepted healthcare standards and causes a patient harm.
Courts rightfully hold surgeons and their teams to high standards due to the delicate nature of their work. Any deviation from accepted surgical practices that leads to preventable harm could constitute surgical malpractice.
Several factors can contribute to surgical malpractice, including errors in judgment, lack of communication among the surgical team, inadequate pre-operative planning, insufficient patient assessment, and inadequate post-operative care.
The consequences of surgical malpractice can be devastating, leading to severe complications, prolonged recovery periods, permanent disabilities, and in extreme cases, even death.
If a healthcare professional responsible for your surgical treatment neglects industry standards while treating you, you may have a right to sue.
However, surgery malpractice cases can be legally complex and challenging to prove. To successfully claim surgical malpractice, you must show that the surgeon breached their duty of care, that the breach directly caused your injury, and that you suffered harm as a result.
Because these are complicated issues, victims, and their families, should seek legal counsel from experienced surgery malpractice lawyers.
Such a lawyer understands medicine and law and can analyze medical records, consult expert witnesses, and build a strong case to ensure you receive fair compensation for your damages.
How Common Is Malpractice in Surgery?
A Baylor College of Medicine report notes that more than half of bad surgical results are due to human error. Injuries caused by these errors can present in many different ways, including significant disability, chronic pain, or fatality.
A bad surgical outcome could be the result of a healthcare provider:
- Performing surgery on the wrong patient,
- Performing surgery on the wrong part of the body,
- Performing the incorrect surgical procedure,
- Leaving objects in the body,
- Administering the wrong blood products during the surgery,
- Improperly administering anesthesia,
- Failing to respond to medical issues promptly, and
- Many other types of mistakes.
If you identify mistakes your provider may have made that harmed you, you could receive legal relief for your suffering. To speak with a New Mexico medical malpractice lawyer who specializes in surgical errors, contact us today.
What Relief Can I Receive in a Malpractice Lawsuit?
There isn’t an average settlement for surgery malpractice. However, if you win or settle your malpractice lawsuit, you could receive:
- Reimbursement for past medical care,
- Compensation for present and future medical needs,
- Payment for other related financial losses,
- Compensation for pain and suffering, and
- Punitive damages.
Excluding punitive damages and compensation you receive for medical needs, the law limits how much you can recover in a lawsuit. The limit is $600,000 for injuries occurring in 2022 and $750,000 for injuries occurring in 2023 or beyond.
What Is the Time Limit for Filing a Lawsuit?
Many people ask, How long after surgery can you sue for malpractice? Generally, New Mexico’s statute of limitations allows victims three years to file a malpractice lawsuit in New Mexico.
But a three-year window is not as much time as you think. Surgical malpractice cases are complex and need the in-depth opinions of medical experts to be successful.
You will likely need significant medical evaluation and legal assessments before you are ready to file. This is why you should speak to a knowledgeable malpractice attorney as soon as possible.
Consult With Our Experienced Surgery Malpractice Lawyers
At Poulos & Coates, LLP, our New Mexico attorneys focus exclusively on medical malpractice claims. Not only do we dedicate our practice to championing the rights of poorly treated patients, but we also bring over 70 years of experience to the table.
We have medical professionals on our staff and on standby to evaluate your case properly. And we do not take payment unless you win. If you are ready for help, you can contact us by phone or online today.
How Does Surgery Malpractice Differ from Other Types of Medical Malpractice?
Surgery malpractice refers to instances where a professional performs a surgical service negligently, resulting in harm or injury to the patient. It differs from other types of medical malpractice because it specifically relates to errors or negligence that occur during surgical procedures.
How Do I Know If I Am a Surgery Malpractice Victim?
If you experience unexpected problems after surgery, such as infections, prolonged recovery, or lasting disabilities, you may be a victim of surgical malpractice. However, consulting with an attorney who can review the specifics of your case will help you determine if you have an actionable claim.
What Should I Do If I Think I Am a Surgery Malpractice Victim In New Mexico?
If you think surgical malpractice caused your injury, it is essential to consult with an experienced surgical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. They can review your case, advise you on your rights and options, and guide you through the legal process.
Is It Necessary to Hire an Attorney to Pursue a Surgery Malpractice Claim in New Mexico?
While hiring an attorney to pursue your surgery malpractice claim is not legally required, having an experienced professional on your side significantly increases your chances of obtaining fair compensation for your injuries.
Can I File a Surgery Malpractice Claim Against a Surgeon Who Performed Surgery Without My Informed Consent?
Yes. If a surgeon performed a procedure without obtaining your informed consent first, or if they failed to provide necessary information about the surgery’s risks and alternatives, you may have grounds for a surgery malpractice claim.
Can I Still Pursue a Surgery Malpractice Claim If I Signed a Consent Form Before Surgery?
Yes. Signing a consent form does not waive your right to pursue a malpractice claim. If the surgeon or medical staff deviated from the accepted standard of care during the surgery, you may still have a valid case.
Can I Sue Both the Surgeon and the Hospital?
Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to sue both the surgeon and the hospital or healthcare facility where the surgery occurred if their negligence contributed to the malpractice. Under the legal doctrine of “respondeat superior,” a hospital may be liable for the actions of its surgical staff—including surgeons, anesthesiologists, and other personnel—if the negligence occurred within the scope of employment and during the surgical procedure.
What Evidence Do I Need to Support My Surgery Malpractice Claim?
You’ll need evidence to support your claim. Medical records, consultation notes, witness statements, photos, videos, expert medical testimony, and any other relevant evidence that supports the surgical team’s negligence or deviation from the standard of care is crucial to building a strong malpractice case.
Can I File a Surgery Malpractice Claim for a Loved One’s Death?
Yes. You could file a surgery malpractice claim for a loved one’s wrongful death on behalf of their estate or surviving family members if their death resulted from surgical negligence or errors.
Can I Still Pursue a Surgery Malpractice Claim If the Surgeon Retired or No Longer Practices?
Yes. You can still pursue a surgery malpractice claim even if the surgeon has retired or no longer practices if you file your lawsuit within the statute of limitations deadline.
How Long Does It Take to Resolve a Surgery Malpractice Case In New Mexico?
The time it takes to resolve a surgery malpractice case varies widely depending on various factors, such as the case’s complexity, the availability of evidence, and whether you reach a settlement or go to trial. Some cases resolve in months, while others may take several years.
Can I File a Surgery Malpractice Claim If I Am Dissatisfied with the Outcome of the Surgery, But There Were No Obvious Complications?
When there are no complications or negligence, dissatisfaction with your surgery’s outcome is insufficient grounds for a surgery malpractice claim. The claim typically requires proving negligence or a deviation from the standard of care that directly caused harm.