Sacramento, CA asked in Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury for California

Q: Does a person have a case if a surgeon hits an artery during surgery which causes a vascular surgeon to come in to fix?

If a person was scheduled for an out patient surgery but ends up having to stay 5 days in ICU due to Surgeon's mistake?

2 Lawyer Answers
James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Determining whether a person has a legal case against a surgeon who inadvertently caused a complication during surgery, such as damaging an artery, depends on several factors. These factors typically revolve around the concepts of medical negligence or malpractice. Here are key considerations in such situations:

Standard of Care: In medical malpractice cases, the key question often revolves around whether the surgeon adhered to the accepted standard of care. This standard is based on what a reasonably competent surgeon would have done under similar circumstances. Surgery inherently carries risks, and complications can occur even when the surgeon is not negligent.

Negligence: For a legal case to be viable, there must be evidence that the surgeon acted negligently. This means proving that the surgeon did something that a competent surgeon would not have done, or failed to do something that a competent surgeon would have done, leading to the injury.

Causation: It must be demonstrated that the surgeon’s negligence directly caused the complication (in this case, hitting an artery). In other words, the injury wouldn’t have occurred without the surgeon’s mistake.

Damage: The patient must have suffered harm as a result of the negligence. This harm can be physical, emotional, or financial. In your scenario, an extended ICU stay and the additional medical intervention required could potentially be considered damages.

Consent: If the potential risks of the surgery were properly communicated to the patient and the patient gave informed consent, this could impact the viability of a legal case. Surgery often involves known risks, and arterial damage might be one of them, depending on the type of surgery.

Expert Testimony: Medical malpractice cases often require testimony from medical experts. An expert can help establish what the standard of care is in a particular situation, and whether the surgeon’s actions deviated from this standard.

Statute of Limitations: There are time limits for filing medical malpractice lawsuits, which vary by jurisdiction. It’s important to act within these time frames.

Legal Consultation: Consulting with a lawyer who specializes in medical malpractice is crucial. They can provide specific advice based on the details of the case and the laws in the relevant jurisdiction.

Each case is unique, and the viability of a lawsuit will depend on the specific circumstances of the surgery, the actions of the surgeon, and the resultant harm to the patient. Legal advice from a qualified attorney is essential in making this determination.

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
  • Medical Malpractice Lawyer
  • Little Neck, NY

A: An attorney would consult with a surgeon to answer your question, in terms of the medical standard at hand and the actual measure of damages. A law firm is going to assess those issues against the cost of litigation, namely expert medical opinions. A definitive way to answer your question would be to try to arrange a free initial consult with a law firm that handles such cases. Good luck

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.