A medical operation may become necessary in order to rectify a physical problem or, in the case of cosmetic surgery, alter the physical appearance of the patient for the better. Especially in cases where operations are a medical necessity, no one can be assured that they will be 100% successful. However, what should never happen, whatever the reason for the procedure, is that the patient be injured during a medical operation.
The thought of something untoward occurring while in the operating theatre is frightening and though rare, such incidents do happen. For example, problems can be caused by administering an excessive dose of anaesthetic during surgery, which is extremely dangerous; failing to properly monitor the patient’s vital signs; improperly fitting the trachea tube used to assist with breathing; or using defective equipment.
Other causes of injury to patients during medical procedures include the surgeon operating on the wrong part of the body. It has also been known for surgeons to inadvertently leave a surgical instrument in the body and for errors in post-op care to lead to further complications and injury.
Proving negligence if injured during a medical operation
Medical negligence compensation claims are only successful when the victim has not been the author of his or her misfortune. Clearly, when a patient is on the operating table it is impossible for them to cause injury to themself, so if he or she does become injured it can only be as a result of the actions of the surgeon or other medical staff.
Proving medical negligence and securing compensation for victims is usually a very complicated affair. The surgeon will be a specialist and expert in their own area of medicine and few lay people, especially the person suffering the injury, will have that kind of specialist knowledge.
The key to a successful medical negligence claim is proving that either the surgeon or the attending medical staff were negligent. Once again, there could be a problem proving this to be the case, unless a special medical negligence team, with expert legal advice, are able to put forward a claim on behalf of the client.
Who pays for medical negligence claims?
If there is a case for medical negligence the claim can be made against the surgeon who performed the medical operation and the NHS Trust or private healthcare provider operating the hospital or clinic concerned. Occasionally, the organisation may offer to settle a claim before it reaches the courts, but this is usually only in minor cases; often the compensation offered is minimal. Even for the claim to get that far the injured party will have to have sought expert legal representation. It is therefore, obvious that expert legal advice is essential if a claim is to be taken any further and for there to be any chance of receiving adequate compensation.
Claiming compensation for a medical operation injury
If you have been injured during a medical operation our specialist solicitors will be able to assist you on a no win, no fee* basis. This means you will not be left out of pocket should your claim for compensation fail.
Date Published: August 13, 2013
Author: David Brown