Miami Surgical Malpractice Attorneys
Defending Patients’ Rights for 30+ Years
When you go in for surgery, you are trusting the surgeons and any other attending medical professionals to conduct the operation in accordance with industry standards, as well as with great care for your health. If they violate their duty to you — and your trust — they can be held accountable.
At Grossman Roth Yaffa Cohen, we know that surgical malpractice is more common than many people think. If you have been injured by a negligent surgeon, our attorneys will help you bring forth a suit against them and their employer (i.e. the hospital) for the harm they have caused. You could be entitled to compensation for the damages you suffered, from medical bills to pain and suffering, and much more.
A Preeminent South Florida Trial Law Firm
Since 1988, our attorney team has garnered acclaim from Best Lawyers®, Super Lawyers®, Lawdragon, The National Trial Lawyers, and American Inns of Court, among others. We have recovered full compensation for our clients in a catalog of complex legal cases. Not to mention, we have fought to overturn and modify unjust laws to protect other Miami residents from similar harm, and we have been greatly successful in doing so. If we don’t win your case, you won’t owe us a dime — that’s how committed we are to our clients.
With almost 50 qualified staffers — including trial lawyers, paralegals, medical investigators, and former police officers and detectives — we will give you the personalized, top-rated legal services you deserve. We have vast resources that render us fully equipped to delve into the details and complexities of your surgical malpractice case. Trust a team with over 100 years of collective experience and a reputation for obtaining landmark results; trust Grossman Roth Yaffa Cohen.
Contact us online or call us at (866) 629-1061 today to schedule a risk-free consultation with a Miami surgical malpractice lawyer.
What is Surgical Malpractice?
Surgical malpractice refers to negligence or a breach of duty by a surgeon or medical staff during a surgical procedure that results in harm or injury to the patient. In Florida, as in many other states, succeeding in a medical malpractice claim based on surgical error typically involves proving several key elements:
- Doctor-Patient Relationship: To file a medical malpractice claim, it must be established that a doctor-patient relationship existed. This relationship implies that the surgeon owed a duty of care to the patient.
- Breach of Standard of Care: The plaintiff must demonstrate that the surgeon breached the standard of care. This involves showing that the surgeon's actions during the procedure deviated from what a reasonably competent surgeon would have done under similar circumstances.
- Causation: It's essential to establish a direct link between the surgeon's breach of the standard of care and the patient's injury. This means proving that the surgeon's actions (or lack thereof) directly caused the harm suffered by the patient.
- Damages: The patient must have suffered actual damages as a result of the surgical error. These damages can include physical pain, additional medical expenses, lost wages, emotional distress, or long-term disability.
Proving these elements often involves expert testimony from other medical professionals who can testify about the accepted standard of care in similar situations and how the surgeon's actions deviated from that standard.
In Florida, medical malpractice claims have specific procedural requirements, including pre-suit investigations, notice requirements, and the need for an affidavit from a medical expert attesting to the merits of the claim before filing a lawsuit. Due to the complexities of these cases, it is imperative to have an experienced attorney on your side from start to finish.
Common Types of Surgical Errors
Despite the groundbreaking developments of modern medicine, a negligent health care professional may commit a wide spectrum of surgical errors:
- Before surgery: Surgical malpractice occurring before surgery includes failing to properly screen a patient for any health risks, failing to warn a patient of the risks of a procedure, recommending the incorrect procedure, improperly preparing for surgery (e.g. anesthesia errors), and failing to instruct a patient on how to prepare for surgery.
- During surgery: Often, this will include operating on the wrong side of the body, performing an incision at the incorrect site, errors in carrying out the procedure, leaving surgical instruments in the body, using unsterilized surgical instruments, and damaging organs, blood vessels, nerves, etc.
- After surgery: Failing to provide adequate and accurate post-surgery treatment/care is the most common example of this type of surgical malpractice.
Common Causes of Surgical Errors
Surgical malpractice can result from various factors, some of which include:
- Lack of Communication: Miscommunication or inadequate communication among surgical team members can lead to errors. Poor communication about the patient's medical history, allergies, or specific surgical procedures can result in mistakes during surgery.
- Fatigue and Staffing Issues: Surgeons and medical staff working long hours without adequate breaks or rest can increase the likelihood of errors. Understaffing or fatigue-related issues might impair decision-making and surgical skills.
- Inadequate Preoperative Planning: Rushed or insufficient preoperative assessments can lead to errors. This includes incorrect patient identification, failure to review medical records thoroughly, or improper pre-surgical evaluations.
- Lack of Proper Training or Experience: Inexperienced surgeons or medical staff who lack adequate training in a particular procedure might be more prone to errors during surgery.
- Equipment Malfunctions or Improper Use: Malfunctioning surgical equipment or improper use of tools during surgery can lead to complications or injuries.
- Neglecting Patient Status During Surgery: Failing to monitor a patient's vital signs or reacting inadequately to changes during surgery can lead to complications.
- Postoperative Care Issues: Inadequate or negligent postoperative care can contribute to complications and prolonged recovery. This might include improper wound care, failure to administer appropriate medications, or lack of follow-up appointments.
- Anesthesia Errors: Administering incorrect dosages of anesthesia or failing to monitor the patient's response to anesthesia properly can result in serious complications or harm.
- Misinterpretation of Diagnostic Tests: Incorrectly interpreting X-rays, CT scans, or other diagnostic tests can lead to surgical errors, such as operating on the wrong body part.
- Failure to Obtain Informed Consent: Surgeons must inform patients about the risks, benefits, and alternatives to a surgical procedure. Failure to obtain informed consent can result in legal and ethical issues.
Addressing these contributing factors often involves improvements in communication protocols, adequate training and supervision, strict adherence to safety protocols, proper equipment maintenance, and ensuring a culture of patient safety within medical facilities.
Who is Liable for Surgical Malpractice?
In cases of surgical malpractice, liability can extend to various individuals or entities involved in the surgical process. Those who might be held liable include:
- Surgeons: The primary surgeon performing the procedure can be held liable if their actions or decisions deviate from the accepted standard of care, leading to harm or injury to the patient.
- Surgical Team: Other members of the surgical team, such as nurses, anesthesiologists, surgical assistants, and technicians, may also be held accountable if their actions or negligence contribute to errors during surgery.
- Hospital or Medical Facility: The hospital or medical facility where the surgery takes place might be held liable for surgical malpractice, especially if they failed to maintain adequate staffing, provided inadequate training, or if the facility itself contributed to the error (such as faulty equipment or unsanitary conditions).
- Anesthesiologists: Errors related to anesthesia administration, dosage, or monitoring during surgery can lead to separate liability for anesthesiologists or certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs).
- Manufacturers of Medical Devices: If a surgical error is caused by a defect in a medical device or equipment used during the procedure, the manufacturer might be held liable under product liability laws.
- Other Healthcare Professionals: In complex surgical cases, specialists or consultants who provide guidance or expertise might also share liability if their advice or actions contribute to the malpractice.
Determining liability in surgical malpractice cases can be intricate, as multiple parties may share responsibility to varying degrees. Liability might also be apportioned based on the specific actions or negligence of each party involved in the surgical process.
It's common for a medical malpractice lawsuit to name multiple defendants, especially when several individuals or entities are involved in the surgical procedure. The degree of liability assigned to each party often depends on the specific circumstances of the case and the evidence presented regarding their actions or negligence that contributed to the patient's harm.
Exercise Your Legal Rights
Even if you know that the surgeon committed a surgical mistake, you will likely be hard pressed to prove it in a court of law on your own. This is because the injured person (plaintiff) is always at a disadvantage in the civil court system. Many surgeons and hospitals have been sued for surgical malpractice time and again; if they haven’t, their insurance companies have certainly handled lawsuits before. Fortunately, Grossman Roth Yaffa Cohen can help put the advantage in your corner.
If you have been injured, don’t hesitate to call our dedicated lawyers at Grossman Roth Yaffa Cohen. As mentioned, we have in-depth experience in surgical malpractice cases.
A few of our past case results in this area of the law include:
- Seven-figure recovery for a Florida woman injured during a botched parathyroid surgery. The seven-figure verdict we won spurred the defense to negotiate a confidential settlement with our client.
- Seven-figure settlement for the wife and daughter of a middle-aged man who died when a surgeon committed a fatal error during heart surgery.
- $898,000 jury verdict in favor of a former Major League Baseball player who suffered retinal detachment after a poorly monitored and poorly advised surgery.
Past results do not guarantee similar results for future cases, although they do illustrate the extent of our skill and competence. Experience the confidence of having highly renowned attorneys fight tirelessly for you.
Contact a surgical malpractice lawyer onlinetoday to get started with your free case evaluation. We accept cases in Miami, Boca Raton, and throughout the nation.
Changing Lives by Changing The Law
Since our firm opened, we've made it our mission to get justice for our clients and their families. We've not only taken on cases that other firms had turned down, but we've also fought to get unjust laws and restrictions overturned or modified.
A Team of Legal Professionals
Complex legal cases require extensive research, trial experience, and industry knowledge, which is why we always have a team of attorneys working on every case we take on. Our team-centric approach to litigation means that we're able to really focus on getting our clients the best possible outcome.
There Are No Upfront Legal Fees
We handle all of our claims on a contingency fee basis and will handle all legal fees, court costs, and expert fees related to your specific case. With decades of experience in this industry, we have a wealth of experts we work with routinely to ensure your case is handled with the utmost care.
We Understand the Medicine
Our attorneys not only take the time to understand the evidence in your case, but also the pathology and medical techniques used in your specific situation. We believe that any attorney that takes on these types of cases needs to be on equal footing with medical professionals and physicians.