The simple answer is, maybe. Isn’t that just like a lawyer? But that answer is accurate. Not all negligent acts by a physician result in a recoverable claim.
Let’s look at this through an example. Sarah has surgery to remove her gallbladder. During the surgery, an error is made and damage is caused to an internal organ. During the surgery, the error is seen and repaired. The recovery took a bit longer due to the error, but the ultimate recovery was complete. So was there negligence, and is it actionable?
First, with all surgeries there are risks, including possible injury to adjoining organs. The occurrence of a known risk is not negligence if the doctor followed accepted procedures.
Second, even if the doctor failed to follow proper procedures, but that conduct did not cause significant injury, then this error would not result in an actionable claim.
Finally, if the doctor improperly performed the surgery and the patient had serious injury as a result of the error, then a claim may exist against the doctor. The patient would need to prove that the doctor fell below the standard of care accepted in the medical field, that there was significant damage and that the damage was actually caused by the negligence.
80% or more malpractice cases are lost by the patient. Therefore, a trained malpractice lawyer needs to carefully review the facts before bringing a claim against any doctor. David H. Ricks, the principal attorney at the Inland Empire Law Group a Rancho Cucamonga malpractice attorney, has been handling medical malpractice claims for nearly 20 years and can evaluate your case. Call 1-888-MYIELAWYER or 909-481-0100 to schedule an appointment.