Surgical Error Misconceptions Every Patient Should Know

Posted on: 16 November 2018

No matter how small a surgical procedure might be, surgery does always come along with certain risks that cannot be avoided. This is something that most patients are well aware of. However, there are a lot of mistruths and misconceptions when it comes to surgical errors and medical malpractice claims. Take a look at some of the most common misconceptions and the real truth that you need to know as a patient.

Misconception: A surgical error automatically qualifies as a medical malpractice case. 

Not every surgical error is going to automatically mean that you have grounds to file a medical malpractice claim. In order for the surgical error to be grounds to file a claim, you will have to prove that the surgeon who performed the procedure did not act according to the typical standard of care and your situation. It is a fact that some errors do occur even if a surgeon does act according to the typical standard of care.

Misconception: You can sue for medical malpractice even if the surgical error caused no harm. 

Before you are actually able to file a claim for medical malpractice, you do have to prove that there has been some level of damage on your behalf because of the incident.  Therefore, if a surgeon did make a surgical error but it did not cause you any harm, you do not have any grounds for a case. The incident can be reported to the proper governing agency so the surgeon is reprimanded if needed, but there will be no need to file a medical malpractice claim. 

Misconception: You can't file a claim if you signed an informed consent before surgery.

Before you undergo surgery, you will be given documents to sign that state you are aware that there are risks involved. Just because you have been informed of the possibility of risks and have signed to consent to the surgery anyway, it does not mean that you cannot file a claim. The only reason that you would not be able to file a claim is if you suffered some kind of injury that was stated as one of the risks associated with the surgery in the informed consent documents. 

Overall, the medical malpractice area of law can be a little confusing. If you feel you have been a victim of a surgical area and have reason to file a claim, reach out to a medical malpractice law attorney for advice.