One of the most blatant and tragic mistakes that can occur in a hospital is when a patient suffers amputation on the wrong part of their body. Not only might a patient have the wrong leg or wrong arm amputated, but mixing up patients might mean having the wrong patient marred by severe negligence.
If you or a loved one suffered a surgical amputation on the wrong part of your body, contact Prosper Shaked today. Our Miami attorney for surgical amputation mistakes represents injury victims and works to seek justice for the sloppy and unacceptable injuries they suffered. For help with your case, call our attorney today at (305) 694-2676 to discuss your options and learn more about your potential case in a free legal consultation.
How Amputation Mistakes Occur
You might think that amputating the wrong limb should be impossible, but several Americans have faced injuries from exactly this kind of mistake. In most hospitals, doctors and nurses take care to double- and triple-check which limb should be operated on, many times writing things like “NO” and “YES” in marker on the patient’s limb just to make sure they get the correct one. In many cases, a visual inspection can show signs of severe injury that needs amputation, which helps confirm any doubts. However, doctors who fail to go through these procedures and fail to confirm which limb is correct are often the ones who commit grievous amputation errors.
As mentioned, amputation mistakes typically occur because the doctor performs the procedure on the wrong leg or wrong arm. However, mixing up the procedure entirely – or catastrophically mixing up patients – can mean performing an amputation on a patient who does not need it at all.
Suing for Amputation Errors in Florida
Whenever you face injuries because of a doctor’s mistakes, you can typically sue them for the errors they made and the harm these errors caused you. In most malpractice cases, the victim will need to use a medical expert to help explain their case to a jury and satisfy legal requirements under Florida’s medical malpractice laws. In cases involving amputation of the wrong limb, the doctor’s negligence is quite obvious, but you may still need to use an expert and have them explain what, specifically, the doctor did that was against the protocols or standards used in the medical community.
To win your case, you must prove that it is more likely than not that your claim is true. This does not require you to meet the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standards used in criminal cases, but instead, you must meet this lower “by a preponderance of the evidence” standard used in civil lawsuits.
In your case, you will likely sue the doctor, but you may also need to sue the hospital and its staff. Many surgeons are in private practice, which means that they do not work for the hospital. This could potentially block the hospital’s liability in your case. However, many ER and trauma doctors are employed directly by the hospital, so you may be able to sue the hospital for the mistakes its employees – including the surgeon – made in amputating the wrong limb. Talk to a lawyer about whom to sue in your medical malpractice lawsuit.
Compensation for Wrong Limb Amputations in Florida
In most cases where a doctor mistakenly amputates the wrong limb, you could still need the damaged limb amputated to treat your injuries, which means you may instead face a double amputation. If the mistake is caught quickly enough, they may be able to reattach the limb, but there is no guarantee. In cases where the doctor mistakenly operated on you instead of another patient, you could face completely unnecessary injuries, whether the limb could be reattached or not.
Amputations are physically disfiguring and cause permanent injuries and disabilities that may require years of physical therapy, expensive medical prosthetics, physical pain and discomfort, “phantom limb” sensations, mental and emotional suffering, lost wages and opportunities, and other damages. In court, you can typically claim financial compensation for all of these injuries.
One of the most expensive damages you might face because of an amputation mistake is the cost of prosthetics. A single prosthesis can cost tens of thousands of dollars – and the need for a second one can be even more expensive. These devices might need to be replaced periodically, especially if you were injured while you were still growing and will need to get a new prosthesis every year or so.
Damages for lost wages can be ongoing damages that can be projected into the future. If you relied on your physical ability to make a living, an unnecessary amputation might make it impossible to return to work and could leave you with lost wages and lost future earning capacity that needs compensation.
Another high area of damages for these kinds of injuries is punitive damages. These damages are paid not to compensate you, but to punish the doctor or negligent healthcare provider whose mistakes caused you harm. These damages can be especially high for such an obvious example of negligence, so it is vital to speak with an attorney about how much your case might be worth to learn more about the potential punitive damages you can claim.
Call Our Miami Amputation Error Lawyer for a Free Legal Consultation
If you suffered from a doctor’s mistakes and had the wrong limb amputated after an accident or if you faced unnecessary and life-altering surgery unnecessarily, you may be entitled to significant damages in a medical malpractice lawsuit. Call Prosper Shaked today and learn more about your options for filing a lawsuit and seeking compensation. Our number is (305) 694-2676.