Surgery can be a frightening experience. All operations involve some inherent risks, and even seemingly minor procedures can have serious consequences. Patients must be told of any potential complications and provided an opportunity to either give their informed consent or decline the surgery. However, no consent can excuse careless conduct by medical professionals. Patients place their lives in the hands of not just their doctors but also the nurses, anesthesiologists, and any other staff members in the operating room. When a healthcare provider negligently makes a mistake, the impact can be disastrous for the victim, who may be entitled to compensation for the injuries that result. The medical malpractice lawyers at Briggs & Wholey are dedicated to advocating for people hurt by surgical errors and other incidents of negligence in Maine. We will explore the details of your situation and fight tirelessly for your right to hold those who harmed you accountable.Surgical Errors
Based on a study published in 2012, researchers at Johns Hopkins have estimated that a sponge is inadvertently left in a patient’s body after surgery approximately 39 times per week. They also reported that doctors perform the wrong procedure on patients about 20 times each week and operate on the wrong part of the body about 20 times per week. Although such errors may occur in only a small percentage of the surgeries performed in the United States, this rate is still alarming in view of the fact that these mistakes are easily preventable and can result in serious injury, disability, or even death.
Other examples of careless actions in the operating room include failing to sterilize equipment or use proper hygiene, operating on the wrong patient, and giving the wrong type or amount of medication or anesthesia. These mistakes can cause devastating damage to nerves, muscles, or other organs, often changing the lives of victims and their families forever.Seek Compensation When a Healthcare Provider is Negligent
A healthcare professional in Maine commits medical malpractice when there is a reasonable medical or professional probability that his or her acts or omissions deviated from the applicable standard of care and were the proximate cause of the patient’s injury. Perfect results following a medical procedure are not required. A negative outcome of an operation does not always mean that there was a surgical error, and there are some mistakes in the operating room that do not rise to the level of professional negligence. If a doctor, nurse, or other staff member fails to meet the applicable standard of care and makes an error that causes harm to the patient, however, the victim may have a medical malpractice claim.
Before pursuing a lawsuit, medical malpractice victims in Maine must file a complaint with a pre-litigation screening panel. If the parties agree, they can receive a binding decision from the panel instead of going to court, or they can waive the screening process.
Patients harmed by medical negligence may be able to recover compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Damages such as funeral costs and loss of companionship may be sought if a tragic fatality resulted from a surgical error. In these situations, a grieving family may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit to seek justice on behalf of their lost loved one. While no amount of compensation can fill the void in their lives, they can reduce the pressure of a financial burden as they cope with their bereavement.Discuss Your Medical Negligence Claim With a Maine Lawyer
Medical malpractice cases are complex, and Maine law requires special procedures in these actions that are not required after many other types of accidents. This makes it especially important to seek the guidance of a knowledgeable lawyer. For nearly 30 years of combined legal experience, the medical negligence attorneys at Briggs & Wholey have accumulated the skills to help you. Attorney Alison Wholey Briggs is uniquely qualified to handle these cases as she is both a registered nurse and an attorney. This skillset provides our clients with an advantage in litigating personal injury and medical malpractice cases. Call (888) 596-1099 or contact us online to set up a free consultation, even if you are not sure that you have a claim.