Los Angeles Surgical Error Lawyer

Los Angeles Surgical Error Lawyer

In Los Angeles, California, a surgical error can turn a routine operation into a life-altering tragedy. Victims of surgical negligence have rights, including the ability to seek compensation through a lawsuit or insurance claim. A surgical error lawyer is your main advocate in this process, striving to secure maximum compensation and justice on your behalf. Below, Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates, PC discusses surgical errors in detail, outlining their types and causes, the legal options for victims, the potential damages, and the ways that a lawyer can be of meaningful assistance.

Types of Surgical Errors


When you or someone you know goes into surgery, you expect the highest level of care. However sometimes things don’t go as planned, and surgical errors can occur. These errors are deeply concerning and can have serious consequences.

One common type of surgical error is an incorrect procedure. Imagine going into surgery for one issue, only to find out a different procedure was performed. This can happen due to miscommunication or mistaken identity of the patient.

Another distressing error is surgery on the wrong site. For example, if you need surgery on your left knee, but the surgery is mistakenly performed on your right knee. This not only leaves the original issue untreated but also subjects you to unnecessary surgery and recovery.

Leaving surgical instruments or materials inside a patient’s body is another shocking error. Items like sponges, towels, or small instruments can be overlooked, leading to severe infection, pain, or the need for additional surgery.

Anesthesia errors are also a major concern. These occur when the anesthetic is not properly administered, leading to too much or too little anesthesia. The consequences can range from waking up during surgery to suffering from severe anesthesia-related complications.

Lastly, nerve damage during surgery can have lasting effects. A slight slip or incorrect incision can lead to temporary or permanent loss of sensation, movement, or function in a particular area of the body.

Causes of Surgical Errors

  • Understanding the causes of surgical errors can be the key to preventing them. One major cause is communication failure. This might involve unclear writing on medical charts, misinterpretation of a patient’s file, or a lack of clear communication among the surgical team. Miscommunication can lead to wrong-site surgery, incorrect procedures, or even wrong-patient surgery.
  • Fatigue among medical staff is another significant cause. Surgeons and medical staff often work long hours, leading to exhaustion. Tiredness can diminish a surgeon’s ability to perform at their best, increasing the risk of errors.
  • Inadequate planning before surgery is also a major cause. Surgery requires careful preparation, including understanding the patient’s medical history and ensuring all necessary equipment is available and functioning. Lack of thorough preparation can lead to complications or surgical errors.
  • Neglecting proper procedures or taking shortcuts can lead to devastating errors. Medical procedures have specific protocols to ensure safety. Ignoring these protocols can lead to situations like leaving a surgical instrument inside a patient or contamination leading to infection.
  • Lastly, incompetence or lack of skill can be a cause of surgical errors. Surgeons require extensive training and experience. If a surgeon hasn’t mastered the necessary skills or is unfamiliar with a particular procedure, the risk of error increases.

Occurrence of Surgical Errors in Los Angeles, California

In Los Angeles, California, surgical errors can occur in various settings. Major hospitals in the city, being high-volume centers, might see more instances simply due to the number of surgeries performed. These hospitals have specific procedures and skilled staff, but the volume of operations can lead to a higher likelihood of errors.

Specialized surgery centers in Los Angeles also perform numerous procedures. While these centers are equipped with advanced technology and staff, the same risks of human error, communication failures, and procedural mistakes exist.

It’s also worth noting that in private clinics or smaller surgical centers in Los Angeles, resources might not be as abundant as in larger hospitals. This can sometimes lead to inadequate staffing or rushed procedures, potentially increasing the risk of surgical errors.

Liability for a Surgical Error

  • When you’re dealing with a surgical error, identifying who is liable is an important step. First, the surgeon performing your operation could be liable. If the surgeon makes a negligent mistake during the surgery, like operating on the wrong site or leaving a surgical instrument inside your body, they can be held responsible for the error.
  • However, it’s not just the surgeon who might be liable. The surgical team, including nurses, anesthesiologists, and other medical staff involved in your care, can also be held accountable. If a team member’s negligence contributes to a mistake, like miscommunicating vital information or improperly sterilizing equipment, they might be responsible.
  • The hospital or medical facility where your surgery took place could also be liable. Under a legal concept called “vicarious liability,” an employer can be held responsible for the negligent actions of its employees. Moreover, if the facility failed to maintain adequate standards, like ensuring properly trained staff or safe, functional equipment, it might be directly liable.
  • Sometimes, liability extends to manufacturers of medical devices or pharmaceuticals. If a surgical error involves a malfunctioning device or a harmful drug reaction, the manufacturer could be held liable under product liability laws.
  • In California, the concept of “comparative negligence” might also come into play. If you, as a patient, contributed to the error in some way, perhaps by not disclosing your full medical history or not following pre-surgery instructions, your compensation might be reduced by your percentage of fault.

Bringing a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Based on a Surgical Error

If you’ve been the victim of a surgical error, you might be considering a negligence-related lawsuit or an insurance claim against a healthcare provider in the state. A healthcare provider can be anyone with a medical license, like doctors, nurses, or clinics. Professional negligence means they did something wrong or failed to do something that led to injury or death, as long as it was part of the services they’re licensed to provide.

In California, the medical malpractice lawsuit process is governed by specific laws. Initially, you should know that there’s a limited time frame to act, known as the “statute of limitations.” In California, you generally have three years from the date of the injury, or one year after you discover the injury, to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Also, in California, if you want to sue a healthcare provider for professional negligence, you have to let them know at least 90 days before you actually start the lawsuit. This notice should clearly explain why you’re suing and how you were hurt. If you give this notice close to when your time limit to sue is ending, you get an extra 90 days to file your lawsuit. This rule doesn’t apply if you don’t know the defendant’s real name and are suing under a placeholder name.

Throughout this process, it’s best to have a Los Angeles malpractice lawyer in your corner. These cases are complex, and a skilled lawyer can guide you through the legal process, advocate on your behalf, and help ensure that your rights are fully protected.

Types of Damages in a Surgical Error Case

  • Economic damages are the tangible losses you’ve incurred. This includes medical expenses for additional treatments, surgeries, or rehabilitation needed due to the error. It also covers lost wages or earning capacity if the error left you unable to work temporarily or permanently.
  • Non-economic damages are more subjective and compensate for the intangible impacts of the error. This encompasses pain and suffering, which refers to the physical discomfort and emotional distress you’ve endured. Loss of enjoyment of life is also considered here if the error has prevented you from engaging in hobbies or activities you once enjoyed. Additionally, if the error affects your ability to form or maintain relationships, you might be compensated for loss of consortium.

In California, medical malpractice cases also have a unique requirement called the “Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act” (MICRA). Among other provisions, MICRA places a cap on non-economic damages, like pain and suffering, in medical malpractice cases. California has updated its law on how much money you can get for pain and suffering in medical malpractice cases. Before, you could only get up to $250,000, but now it’s $350,000. However, if death results from the surgical error, the limit is $500,000.

How a Surgical Error Lawyer Can Help

Having a surgical error lawyer by your side can be immensely beneficial in a malpractice case. These lawyers understand medical malpractice law and can tackle the thorny legal and medical issues involved in your case. First, a surgical error lawyer can help you understand your rights and the types of damages you may be entitled to. They can carefully investigate your case, accumulate the proper medical records, interview witnesses, and work with medical experts.

Your lawyer will also handle all the legal paperwork and meet the strict deadlines for filing claims, ensuring that your case progresses smoothly. They’re skilled negotiators who can deal with insurance companies and defendants on your behalf, working to secure a fair settlement that covers your losses. If a settlement isn’t possible, your lawyer is prepared to represent you in court, presenting your case to a judge or jury to seek the compensation you deserve.

Moreover, a surgical error lawyer usually operates on a contingency fee basis. This means that they only get paid if you win your case. This arrangement allows you to pursue justice without worrying about upfront legal fees. In essence, these types of lawyers offer not just legal representation but also peace of mind, allowing you to focus on your recovery while they manage the legal aspects.

Immediate Actions After a Surgical Error

First, prioritize your health. Seek medical attention, even if it means consulting a different healthcare provider, to assess and address any complications. Carefully document your condition, noting symptoms, pain levels, and any conversations with medical professionals. Preserve all medical records and bills, as these documents are vital. Next, avoid discussing the incident in detail to healthcare providers, insurance representatives, or on social media. These statements can be misconstrued or used against you. Then, contact a skilled surgical error lawyer promptly. An experienced attorney can offer meaningful guidance, manage communications with insurers or opposing parties, and ensure your rights are protected throughout the process. Remember, time is an important factor due to legal deadlines, so don’t sleep on your rights.

Los Angeles Surgical Error Attorney

Samer Habbas LawyerIf you or a loved one has been affected by a surgical error or another form of medical malpractice, don’t face this challenge alone. Contact Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates, PC by calling (888) 848-5084 or contacting us online for a consultation with a surgical error attorney. Our team is committed to understanding your situation and helping you understand your legal rights and options. We’re here to support you every step of the way.

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