If you or a loved one living in Massachusetts has been damaged or died from surgery, then you are not alone. Researchers estimate that medical errors are the third leading cause of death in America. Before you can win a surgical malpractice case, you need to be able to prove four factors.
Duty of care
The first thing you will need to show is that the medical professional, like the surgeon or anesthesiologist, had the burden of taking care of you.
Medical professionals study what they should do during different types of surgery. They should follow standard procedures. If something goes wrong, then they should follow the guidelines they learned to do during those particular situations.
You were injured
Even if the doctor or nurse did not carry out standard protocols, you still must show that you were injured in some way because they did not follow standard practice. Many different types of injuries may happen, including:
- Operating on the wrong surgery site
- Performing an unnecessary surgery
- Damaging other parts of your body
- Leaving instruments in your body
- Causing infections to occur
After you prove that a medical professional damaged you somehow, you must establish what damages occurred. As with other steps in the procedure, a medical malpractice lawyer may be able to help. You will generally ask for special damages, which is the amount of money you lost or will continue to lose through the medical professional’s mistake. You may also be entitled to general damages for the pain and trauma you have felt since the error occurred.