Many people (perhaps some in Philadelphia) actually have a fear of going to the doctor. If any of them have read stories about the worst surgical mistakes of all time, it's no wonder. You or your children may be among those who have recently undergone some type of surgery.
There's always a certain amount of risk involved in any type of medical procedure in a Pennsylvania hospital. You have the right to reasonably assume surgeons and all other staff members will act according to the utmost level of accepted industry standards to keep you safe.
Negligence often leads to surgical disaster
Can you imagine being put to sleep and not being asleep, meaning: The anesthesia failed to work? There have actually been patients who felt, heard and saw everything during their surgeries, but their paralyzed bodies made it impossible for them to cry for help! Although this type of error is rare, the following mistakes are much more common:
- Right procedure, wrong side: Post surgery, some patients have learned their surgeons performed the operation on the wrong side of their body. There have even been several people who were undergoing surgeries on their heads when surgeons drilled into the wrong sides.
- More than intact body parts left inside: Unless you were having a procedure, such as an appendectomy or gall bladder removed, you expect to awaken with all your organs and internal body parts intact. However, you would not expect to later discover large pieces of gauze or random surgical instruments inside your body. This continues to be one of the most common surgical errors.
- Medication/drug mistakes: From babies to adults, errors in administering drugs and medicines have not only caused severe injuries to patients, but in some cases, death.
You may have heard other horrifying stories, such as patients having healthy body parts removed by mistake, or surgeons accidentally operating on the wrong patients. These tragedies can be devastating. If you have suffered injury in a similar situation, it's understandable you'd desire justice for something that should have been preventable.
Key factors in seeking legal accountability
If you, your spouse or child have suffered serious bodily harm because of medical error, your family no doubt suffered emotional trauma as well. Many recovering victims have told how they were haunted by thoughts and mental images associated with their botched surgeries. There's no reason your family should bear the financial impact of someone else's mistake. If a medical error proved fatal to your loved one, there is obviously no monetary recovery that can replace your loss.
You may, however, be able to obtain maximum compensation for damages that would at least pay your medical bills and other expenses related to your situation. The following may help you discern whether this is a viable option in your particular situation:
- Burden of proof: The court expects you to show that a duty was owed to you, that duty was breached and the breach was the cause of your injuries.
- Expert testimony: In cases like yours, it often helps to enlist the aid of third-party witnesses whose testimony may help substantiate your claim. (Think: medical experts, psychologists, scientists, etc...) State laws vary concerning the use of such witnesses.
- Success may lead to change: Many others who have been in similar situations have reported feeling satisfaction that their legal claims led to regulatory changes in the medical industry to help prevent the same injuries from occurring in the future.
Recovering from medical injury can be a lengthy process wrought with physical and emotional challenge. Knowing there is a support network available to help you seek restitution and justice may provide comfort.
If the injuries you or your loved one suffered have resulted in permanent disability where no full physical recovery is possible, reaching out for help to seek legal accountability against the party or parties deemed liable can begin the process of getting the financial help and living assistance you need as you strive to achieve the highest quality of life possible in the aftermath of the incident that caused your suffering.