It can be difficult to handle an infection after going through surgery and attempting to determine whether you ought to file suit at the same time.
You may be wondering, can you sue if you get an infection after surgery?
Part of the answer depends on the cause of your infection.
In this article, the medical malpractice lawyers at Poulos & Coates will go over what steps you should take if you get an infection after surgery and whether you should seek legal action.
If you have any questions, please contact us today.
Causes of an Infection After Surgery
There are several reasons why you might have an infection following surgery. One cause could be having emergency surgery.
The infection could also be due to an underlying condition such as diabetes. But it is possible that it is due to negligence on the part of your doctor or the hospital.
Can You Sue If You Get an Infection After Surgery?
If your physician or the hospital was negligent, you might have a claim for medical malpractice.
As the plaintiff, you must prove the elements of duty, breach, causation, and damages to bring a claim of negligence.
Keep in mind that because a doctor made an error, it does not mean you can necessary file suit, but it is possible.
First, you have to prove that they owed a duty of care to you in a doctor-patient relationship.
When you have a doctor-patient relationship, your doctor has a duty to provide you with the same standard of care that would be expected of another doctor in their position.
Next, you need show that they breached their duty of care. For example, if the doctor did not properly clean the infection, prescribe antibiotics, or follow other standard practices, that may breach their duty of care.
You must also prove that the doctor’s breach of their duty of care was the cause of your injury.
In other words, but for them not prescribing antibiotics or not cleaning the infection site, your infection would have healed.
Lastly, you need have to have a compensable injury as a result of the malpractice. This injury could be a worsening infection, but it could also include lost wages or other non-physical injuries.
You might be asking yourself, Can you sue a hospital if you get an infection after surgery?
Hospitals can be liable for medical malpractice if the elements of negligence explained above are met.
This could be due to something such as unsanitary conditions that caused your infection. It is possible that the hospital could be vicariously liable for the actions of their employees as well.
The Statute of Limitations
If you plan to file suit, you need to ensure that you meet the statute of limitations.
The statute of limitations refers to how much time you have to file before your lawsuit “expires.”
You will typically have to file within three years of the date of the malpractice in New Mexico.
How Our Medical Malpractice Attorneys Can Help
If you are suffering from an infection after surgery, consider reaching out to our medical attorneys. Our team at Poulos & Coates has over 70 years of combined experience.
We can help you determine whether you can file suit for your infection and examine your case.