Whether you had a medically necessary life-saving surgery or you had an elective cosmetic surgery, the results of the surgery may be upsetting. However, just because you aren’t happy with the results of your surgery, doesn’t mean that you can sue for medical malpractice. In order to have a valid medical malpractice claim, you will need to establish the following:
- You had a doctor/patient relationship. This point is pretty straightforward and easy to prove. This means that you hired a doctor for your surgery or a doctor at a hospital treated you, and therefore a relationship existed.
- The surgeon was negligent. When a doctor fails to perform his medical duties correctly and deviates from the standard of care, you must show that a reasonable doctor—one who acted safely and carefully—would have done something different under the same circumstances.
- The negligence caused you harm. This means that as a result of the surgery, you suffered physical pain, a deformity, or disability. Even if you didn’t suffer a permanent physical injury, if you had to undergo an additional surgery that resulted in more medical bills and more time away from work—all while losing income—you may be able to sue for such damages.
You may be able to sue a surgeon for failing to warn you of the risks of a procedure. For instance, you may have had back surgery only to come out of it with the same pain you had prior to the surgery; however, if the doctor informed you of this possibility, then you wouldn’t be able to sue him for medical malpractice. On the other hand, if you came out of the surgery in worse shape and the doctor failed to warn you that this could happen, you may have cause to sue.
Because medical malpractice cases are very complex due to the laws surrounding medical malpractice claims, it is best to have your case reviewed by an experienced lawyer. Most medical malpractice attorneys will provide you with a free consultation.