Who Is Responsible for Surgeon Errors and Surgical Malpractice? 

During surgical procedures, medical errors can have dire consequences. This can potentially lead to lifelong disability or even fatal outcomes for the patient. Pinpointing responsibility in these circumstances, especially in legal terms, is critically important to those seeking justice for injuries or death caused by mistakes in surgery. Often, the culpability rests with the surgeon, anesthesiologist, or other operating team members, yet there are instances where the fault lies with the hospital or surgical facility itself. 

Navigating the complexities of surgical mistake liability requires expertise, which is best provided by experienced medical malpractice attorneys. In addition to the usual challenges of proving medical malpractice, identifying the responsible party is crucial to filing a valid surgical malpractice claim. 

Consider the following scenario:  

A patient arrives at the emergency department with an open, bleeding surgical incision hours after a scheduled surgery that had been performed that same morning. The emergency department whisks the patient into the operating theater where the on-call surgeon stitches the patient back up and discharges the patient hours later. Several days after the ER visit, the patient returns by ambulance with a high fever, and is diagnosed with a septic infection suspected to have been caused by a surgical sponge left within the body. A third surgery is undertaken to remove the foreign object and clear the infection. The patient was subsequently hospitalized for their recovery, leading to extensive hospital bills and lost time from work.  

Who could be held responsible for this patient’s monetary damages and poor health outcome?  

Determining Responsible Parties 

Can it be proved which surgeon left the surgical sponge inside the incision? Which doctor is liable for the patient subsequently developing sepsis? Or is the hospital at fault? Should the original surgeon be the target of a potential lawsuit? Or should the issue be attributed to the ER surgical staff? This situation would require an extensive investigation to determine the responsible party or parties. 

Scheduled Surgeries and Liability Issues 

For routine scheduled surgeries, the malpractice attorney will need to identify the employer for each of the participants. Doctors can be either employees of separate surgical practice groups or, increasingly, they have sold their practices to the hospital and are employees of the hospital itself.  Establishing hospital liability necessitates proving the doctor’s status as an employee rather than an independent contractor. 

Hiring A Malpractice Attorney for Surgical Errors 

It is in your best interest to hire a skilled malpractice attorney who specializes in surgical errors to navigate these legal complexities and secure your compensation. Medical malpractice attorneys’ knowledge of both the medical and legal side of your situation enables them to effectively advocate for your rights.  

At Wallace Wason, PLLC, we conduct thorough medical investigations, gather the evidence, and collaborate with medical experts to build a compelling case. Through this expertise, we can obtain maximum compensation for damages due to surgical malpractice. If you’ve been injured due to surgical mistakes, don’t delay – contact us today for a free case evaluation. (703) 638-7717