How To Claim Compensation If An Operation Has Gone Wrong?
With incredible advances in medical science, patient safety and healthcare delivery, most surgical processes are now carried out without complications as they were in times past. The number of deaths arising from surgeries have been on the decline in the last five decades according to the World Health Organization.
However, there are still instances where the outcome of a surgery is far from what was expected. Sometimes there could be complications which may be as a result of accidental mistakes from the surgeon, incompetence, momentary lapse in concentration or one form of negligence from any of the surgical team. Cases of surgery gone wrong, wrong patient surgery cases have been reported arising from surgeon negligence. For these reasons, one may make operation claims seeking compensation for surgical errors. The impact of surgical errors could be live changing not just physically, but also affecting the mental wellbeing of the individual. It could also affect life expectancy of the individual involved.
If you or your loved one has suffered from surgical negligence, or received substandard treatment during an operation you underwent, causing you harm, unnecessary pain, suffering and avoidable complications, you may be able to make failed operation claims and get a deserved compensation.
Can You Sue If Surgery Goes Wrong?
Yes, you can. You can make an operation gone wrong claim or surgery gone wrong claim if you or your loved one has suffered from a failed operation such as knee replacement gone wrong, hip replacement gone wrong or other form of failed surgery.
Your surgical error lawsuit or failed operation claim may fall into several surgical negligence categories such as wrong patient surgery cases, wrong surgery performed on a patient, retained object, or some other operation negligence.
In a case of a never event, you may be entitled to a never event compensation when you are able to prove liability and causation; i.e. you are able to show that the surgeon or other staff was negligent and that the negligent treatment is the direct cause of your suffering.
In the case of a cosmetic surgery, our cosmetic surgery law solicitors can help you sue a plastic surgeon for negligence and get you a deserved NHS compensation.
What Are Operation Gone Wrong Claims?
Operation gone wrong claim refers to when an individual takes legal action against a surgeon who failed in his duty to perform the surgery according to appropriate medical standards but commits an error or was negligent causing the individual or a loved one to suffer harm or unnecessary damage.
Every surgical procedure comes with its own risk and a patient should be explained to what these risks are and the procedure will only be carried out if the patient consents to the procedure. When these risks are not explained to the individual and the person suffers a complication as a result, this may be enough grounds to make a compensation claim.
It is true that the compensation you will receive will not reverse the incident or erase the memories of the unfortunate event, however, it will help the individual and family to access quality medical care as may be required, ensure that they do not suffer financially and also have the best possible quality of life given the circumstances.
The amount a claimant will receive as compensation will depend on the severity of injury, future prognosis, travel expenses, rehabilitation costs, house adjustment costs, caregiver costs, lost earnings among others.
What Constitutes Surgical Negligence?
There are various actions or inactions which form operation negligence and for which you may be entitled to make claims if you have suffered unnecessary pain or injury after experiencing them. There are expected clinical standards your surgeon is expected to meet during your surgery and afterwards during the after-surgery care. When they fail to do so, breaching their duty of care to you, negligence can be said to have occurred.
The following actions constitute surgical negligence:
- Performing wrong surgery on a patient
- Monitoring negligence especially after the surgery
- Performing surgery without the patient’s consent
- Unnecessary and avoidable injury to internal organs
- Unintended retention of foreign objects (URFOs) and retained surgical items (RSIs).
- Operating on the wrong body part
- Inserting an ill-fitting implant or prosthesis
- Negligently severing vital blood vessels or nerves.
- Keyhole surgery error
- Anaesthesia errors
- Hospital acquired infections (such as MRSA) as a result of poor hygiene
- Incompatible or infected blood transfusions.
- Nerve damage during knee replacement surgery
- Performing an unnecessary surgery
- Misplacing tubes
- Cosmetic surgery claims
- Errors in blood transfusion
Reasons For Surgical Errors
Despite the fact that surgeons are expected to be highly skilled, mistakes do occur. There are several reasons why your surgery could go wrong. These include:
- Negligence: Surgical errors can occur as a result of a surgeon being complacent or careless during the procedure.
- Fatigue: If a surgeon is under pressure to meet certain deadlines or carry out an emergency surgery despite being overworked, he may not be able to carry out the surgery to the best of his ability. There could be a case of lack of concentration which could lead to avoidable mistakes.
- Lack of Proper Communication: When there is a breakdown in communication among the surgical team during your surgery, it may also lead to errors.
- Lack of Proper Preoperative Planning: There is every need that proper planning is done before a patient goes into surgery. Failure to do this may lead to serious mistakes and complications.
- Surgeon Incompetence – If a surgeon lacks the required skill and experience for the particular surgery type to be carried out, the operation may most likely go wrong.
- Misdiagnosis: When a condition is not correctly diagnosed, it could lead to carrying out an unnecessary surgery.
How Common Are Surgical Errors In The UK?
As seen above, there are different kinds of surgical errors, the most serious of them are none as “never events”. Never events describe errors that are not in any way expected to happen in an operating room. According to data from the NHS, there were 423 never events recorded between April 2018 and January 2019. Of this number, 165 surgeries performed on the wrong body site. A breakdown of this number shows that:
- In 16 cases, the wrong skin lesion was removed
- In 31 cases, there was a wrong site block
- In 9 cases, a spinal injection was administered to the wrong side
- In 3 cases, angioplasty was performed on the wrong side
- In 3 cases, ovaries were erroneously removed
Furthermore, 572 serious surgery incidents were reported between April 2019 to March 2020. 472 out of this number were classified as “never events”.
Proving My Operation Gone Wrong Claim
Proving medical negligence claims is not a very easy task and that is why you need expert medical negligence solicitors to help you make your surgical negligence claims.
For you to successfully prove your claims
- You have to show that a doctor/patient relation first existed such that the surgeon or other medical professional owed you a duty of care.
- You also have to show that your surgeon breached that duty of care by failing to carry out the surgery competently. You have to show that your surgery failed or went wrong because your surgeon was negligent.
- You have to establish that the pain, suffering and complication you are passing through is totally unnecessary and is a direct result of the failed surgery.
- Additionally, you have to show how much damages you have suffered or losses incurred as a result of the injury or harm suffered.
Thus, when you are able to not just demonstrate the liability of a medical personnel but also causation, i.e. showing a direct link between the negligent treatment and the harm suffered, you have proven your claims and should be compensated adequately for the wrongs done to you.
Starting An Operation Gone Wrong Claim
When you decide to make claims, it is important that you seek the services of a medical negligence solicitor who is an expert in operation negligence claims to help you make your claims.
When you come to us to represent you, first we discuss your claims during our consultation session which is totally free of charge.
Thereafter, we will make a thorough evaluation of the facts presented to determine if you have a strong claim. If this is so, we will proceed to make your claims.
We will help you gather vital documents which you will need to prove your claims which include:
- Comprehensive statements of all that happened, appointment dates, type of surgery, the surgeon who performed the surgery and other relevant detail
- Medical reports including test and scan results
- Witness statements from family and friends
- Proof of financial losses incurred and out of pocket expenses as a result of the surgical error including past, current and estimated future financial losses
- Photographs or images showing extent of damage (where applicable)
- Medical Report from an independent medical expert who will perform a medical examination and determine the type or negligence and severity of the injury suffered
Our solicitors have over three decades worth of experience in medical negligence claims and have a strong record of successfully winning deserving compensation payouts for clients over the years. They are also accredited with the Law Society’s Clinical Negligence Panel and the Action against Medical Accident (AvMA). You can therefore be rest assured that you will be represented by some of the best lawyers in the UK.
What Happens If A Surgeon Makes A Mistake?
There are a number of scenarios that can play out when a surgeon makes a mistake. These include:
- The Mistake Is Corrected By Another Surgeon: Here another surgeon can be asked to correct the mistakes made by the first surgeon. This is preferable as the patient may also not be comfortable with the first surgeon operating on him or her again.
- Hospital Makes Investigations: Most often the hospital will make investigations to ascertain the true picture of things. They may likely set up a committee to find out why and how the negligence occurred. The surgeon may be momentarily relieved of his or her duties.
- The Affected Individual or Family Can Make Claims: The individual or family can decide to take legal actions against the hospital or the surgeon.
How Much Compensation Will I Get For My Operation Gone Wrong Claims?
In cases involving surgical errors, compensation amounts will vary depending on the severity of the negligent treatment, location and type of injury or harm suffered, impact of the complication on the patient’s day to day life, future prognosis, costs of rehabilitation, travelling expenses for medical appointments, out of pocket expenses and other financial losses, loss of job and earnings.
The Judicial College Guidelines has stipulated a range of compensation figures for various injuries suffered as a result of surgeon negligence. This covers for general damages and doesn’t include figures for the factors mentioned above-
|TYPE OF INJURY||REMARKS||COMPENSATION RANGE|
|Total deafness||With no tinnitus or speech impediment||£85,170 to £102,890|
|Loss of sight||In one eye, where there could be a risk of ophthalmia||£46,240 to £51,460|
|Hernias||Here there is limitation to physical activity and work even after the error has been corrected.||£13,970 to £22,680|
|Injuries to the Bladder||Where there is partial or total Incontinence and impairment||£60,050 to £75,010|
|Injuries to Bowels||Where there is loss of function.||Up to £140,870|
|Injuries to Kidneys||Where there is a risk that the kidneys may lose their function in the future||up to £60,050|
|Facial disfigurement||Severe scarring severe which leaves a disfiguring effect and psychological reaction||£27,940 to £91,350|
|Facial disfigurement||Less severe scarring but there is still substantial disfigurement and psychological reaction.||£16,860 to £45,440|
|Facial scarring||Significant levels of scarring which can be repaired substantially by surgery but there is still some residual cosmetic disability.||£8,550 to £28,240|
|Amputation||Negligence resulting to amputation of the limbs||£65,000 to £200,000.|
|Injuries to internal organs||Negligence resulting to injury to internal organs||£60,000 to £100,000.|
|Orthopaedic injuries||Negligence resulting to Orthopaedic injuries||Values from £50,000 depending on severity|
|Spinal cord injury||for moderate and less severe injuries very severe injuries||£50,000 to £300,000 Up to £1 million|
No Win No Fee Operation Gone Wrong Claims
Apart from offering you a free consultation session, we make it easy for you to make your claims by offering you our Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) policy. This policy allows you to make claims without paying any legal fees. We will undertake your claims without you first paying us a dime. You will also not have to pay in the event that the claim was not successful.
However, on successful completion and settlement of your claims, and the compensation award paid, we will deduct a percentage of your settlement payout. This will be no more than 25% as our “success fee”.
Contact us today by filling out our free online claims assessment form, one of our lawyers will contact you to discuss your claims at your earliest convenience.