Liability in Atlanta Surgical Error Cases

In all medical malpractice cases, the injured patient must prove negligence to receive compensation from the other party. Establishing liability in Atlanta surgical error cases involves demonstrating that your medical provider breached the standard of care, causing your injuries and subsequent damages.

Proving fault can be difficult, as it requires gathering a significant amount of evidence. Additionally, your medical provider will do everything in his or her power to deny responsibility for your surgical complications. A knowledgeable surgical error attorney could help you build a strong case against the negligent party.

Understanding the Standard of Care

All medical professionals in Atlanta must operate within the standard of care. State law defines the standard of care as a medical provider’s legal duty to bring a reasonable degree of care and skill to the exercise of his or her profession.

Medical providers may commit errors during surgical procedures, but there is no valid claim for negligence unless there is a breach in the standard of care. Those who are unsure whether a medical provider breached the duty of care should speak with a skilled attorney in the area.

Potentially Liable Parties in a Surgical Error Case

There are several different medical professionals involved in any surgical procedure. There may be multiple surgeons, surgical assistants, nurses, and anesthesiologists all participating in one operation.

After surgery, patients are typically moved to the post-anesthesia care unit (PACU), where a new set of nurses is responsible for monitoring patients and their vitals. If the patient is moved to a hospital room after the PACU, there would be another set of nurses responsible for monitoring vitals and the patient post-surgically.

Because there are so many people involved in the surgical process, there are several potentially liable parties in any malpractice case. Any person who breaches the standard of care and causes injury to the patient can bear liability. Without a seasoned attorney, an injured patient may have trouble identifying who is primarily responsible.

Could a Hospital be Considered Negligent?

Most surgeons are not employees of the hospitals they work in. These individuals are generally independent contractors. This means the hospital will not be responsible for a surgeon’s mistake. However, the facility can be held liable for the actions of employees such as nurses.

Additionally, the hospital could be considered negligent for allowing an unqualified person to perform a procedure in their facilities. If a doctor is known to have a high surgical error rate and has been deemed negligent in past malpractice suits, it can be argued that a reasonable hospital would not have allowed him or her to practice in their facilities.

Aside from negligent credentialing, a hospital might be held liable if it lacked adequate equipment or failed to put proper safety procedures in place for a certain surgery.

Proving Liability for a Surgical Error in Atlanta

The first step in proving liability is gathering all the medical records related to the patient’s surgical error. It is also important to gather witnesses who can speak to the details of the case. Potential witnesses may include friends or family members who spent time with the patient in the hospital or soon after discharge.

In Georgia, all medical malpractice cases must be filed with an affidavit from an expert witness. For a surgical error case, the injured party must seek out a qualified medical expert with knowledge about the specific procedure the patient went through. The expert witness must testify that the medical provider breached the standard of care, describe how it was breached, and state that the breach caused the patient’s injury.

Can Consent Forms Negatively Impact a Case?

Consent forms are important because they inform patients of the risks of the specific procedure being performed. Even if the medical providers do everything correctly, the patient could still experience complications. By signing a consent form, the patient acknowledges those risks.

However, no one consents to a preventable surgical error. A signed consent form should not prevent an injured patient from pursuing a negligence claim.

An Attorney Could Help You Establish Liability in an Atlanta Surgical Error Case

Surgical error cases are complex, so it is vital to seek legal help when determining fault. A hard-working lawyer at our firm can help you prove liability in Atlanta surgical error cases. Contact us right away to schedule a free consultation.