Amputation Error Malpractice Lawyer
Nearly 200,000 amputations are performed in hospitals across the U.S. each year. Patients often need a limb removed to survive the effects of a car crash, diabetes, or metastatic cancers. However, when a limb is lost due to medical provider negligence, the consequences for the victim are tremendous. The loss is disfiguring, and it can also be permanently disabling.
If you or a loved one have been the victim of an amputation caused by a medical mistake, you could face years of physical therapy and costly medical expenses. You should trust your doctors and nurses to exercise care when treating you and not leave you with a financial burden from their negligence. When things go wrong, you need an amputation malpractice lawyer from Lopez McHugh LLP to secure justice.
When Is Amputation Necessary?
There are times when an amputation is medically required in order to save a patient’s life, but amputations are generally an option of last resort. Despite this, living with the loss of a limb is a reality for nearly two million Americans. The experience is emotionally and physically painful. Even with prosthetics, this devastating event changes a patient’s life forever.
Depending on the medical issue, amputation may be required when a diseased body part is not expected to heal. Limb loss may be the best course of action to save a patient’s life or prevent further physical damage.
Some of the most common causes of amputations include:
Issues with circulation prevent blood from delivering oxygen and nutrients to organs and tissue, causing them to break down and die. These internal issues can often lead to fatal medical problems such as sepsis, an infection that damages the entire body.
An amputation may be necessary to correct circulation problems, ensuring the delivery of adequate oxygen and nutrients needed for tissues to recover.
When a patient develops an infection that is left untreated, toxins can spread throughout the body, causing major health problems and even death. Removing the entire limb or a portion of it may be necessary to stop the spread of infection and retain as much of the extremity as possible.
As much as 10.5 percent of the American population is living with diabetes. This disease is a significant cause of amputation, especially for feet and lower legs. Patients are prone to nerve damage (often called neuropathy) and circulation issues. These problems can occur separately or together. Individuals frequently experience ulcers and infections that go untreated due to the loss of sensation in the affected area.
Without regular visual inspection to guard against cuts, foreign objects, blisters, and other damage, people living with diabetes risk losing toes, feet, or their entire leg below the knee.
Various cancers can affect a patient’s bones or muscles and require amputation. Because of the sensitive network of blood vessels and nerve endings in the human body, an amputation may be required to stop a tumor from spreading or to reduce its impact. In addition, amputations related to tumors require extreme precision and accuracy in testing and surgery.
In situations where removing a limb will ensure all of the cancer is removed to save the patient’s life, physicians will often choose to perform an amputation.
Vehicle, machinery, construction, and other serious accidents are among the most common reasons for amputations. Often, a catastrophic accident will inflict irreparable damage, and amputation is a key lifesaving measure.
How Do Amputation Errors Happen?
While there are many valid reasons for performing this type of surgery, amputation errors are nearly as common as planned amputations. The procedure to remove a limb is extremely dangerous and can lead to severe complications. If the surgery is not performed properly or the patient does not receive sufficient post-operative care, they could lose their life.
Nearly all amputation errors can be traced back to the negligence and wrongdoing of a medical provider. Patients depend on caregivers to abide by their oaths and be competent in their work. In the case of an amputation, this expectation is even higher due to the extreme nature of the surgery, often used as a last resort to heal the patient.
When doctors, nurses, and hospitals fail to meet this minimum standard, patients suffer. Common causes of amputation errors include:
- Misdiagnosis of a medical condition: Doctors, nurses, and hospital staff who fail to correctly diagnose a condition cost patients precious time that could prevent an amputation entirely.
- Errors in the patient’s medical chart: It is critical to accurately record and update a patient’s medical history and symptoms to ensure their treatment plan is consistent with prescribed medications, previous medical procedures, and the medical issue itself.
- Failure to diagnose a medical condition: If a patient is prematurely released from a hospital or other healthcare facility without receiving necessary and proper treatment due to a physician’s failure to diagnose their medical issue, it could result in amputation or even death.
- Failure to treat a medical condition: If a patient has an infection that goes neglected by doctors, nurses, and hospital staff, it could worsen and require amputation. Doctors and nurses have a duty to patients to monitor all conditions and administer proper care to prevent further illness or injury.
- Surgical errors: Amputation can result from a severe mistake during another procedure. Any surgical error can be fatal for a patient, but those that permanently damage nerves, muscles, and tissue can alter the course of a patient’s life forever.
Determining Fault in A Medical Malpractice Case
When a hospital, doctor, nurse, or other medical professional fails to administer proper care, they should be held responsible. A successful wrongful amputation claim involves the precise handling of complex legal issues that require a detailed investigation of the circumstances by a skilled and experienced medical malpractice attorney.
The experienced trial lawyers of Lopez McHugh LLP begin working with each client by conducting an analysis of the patient’s medical records and consulting with experts. Our legal team will then construct a case demonstrating negligence or wrongful actions on the part of the responsible parties. We are committed to holding all liable parties accountable for the harm they have caused by recovering the financial relief needed to help the patient be comfortable in their new life.
Our attorneys gather evidence from a variety of sources to bring a strong claim of medical malpractice regarding your amputation, including:
- Evidence of the physical injury
- Medical, hospital, and surgical records
- Videos and photographs of the injury
- Testimony from medical experts
- Documentation of medicine errors
- Diagnostic test results
- Statements from witnesses
- Estimates of economic and non-economic damages
- Documentation of the patient’s pain and suffering
A successful amputation malpractice claim depends on proving the four elements of negligence by a preponderance of the evidence. The plaintiff must demonstrate:
- A doctor-patient relationship existed, and the doctor owed the patient a duty of care.
- The doctor failed in their duty by deviating from the actions a reasonable doctor would take.
- The failure is a direct cause of the patient’s injury.
- The patient suffered an injury and financial damages as a result.
Pennsylvania does not impose a limit on how much a plaintiff can receive in economic or non-economic damages. Patients are free to recover the full amount they request based on the evidence they provide to the court.
Medical Malpractice Claims Have Special Requirements
Although plaintiffs can recover their full losses, there are other laws that make medical malpractice cases different from other personal injury claims. As stated in 231 Pennsylvania Code Rule 1042.3, a victim who seeks to file a medical malpractice claim must have the case reviewed by an appropriately licensed professional. This professional must state in a signed “certificate of merit” that they believe there is a reasonable probability the healthcare provider did not follow accepted standards.
The amputation malpractice attorneys at Lopez McHugh LLP maintain a network of licensed medical professionals who can be called on to provide this service as part of a negligence lawsuit filing. We will ensure the statement meets the requirements and is submitted within the timeframe outlined by the state.
Victims of Amputation Errors Deserve Compensation
If an amputation is the result of medical malpractice, the patient may face astronomical medical expenses as well as extreme emotional anguish. These costs must be repaid by those who caused the harm. Successfully proving negligence allows victims to receive financial relief to provide for the losses they suffer.
Compensatory damages fall into two categories: economic and non-economic. Examples of these include:
- Medical expenses
- Additional surgeries
- Physical therapy
- Costs of a rehabilitation facility
- Mobility aids
- Lost wages or earning potential
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Disfiguring scars
- Mental anguish
- Shame, shock, and fear
- Physical pain from your injuries
Lopez McHugh LLP believes that victims of amputation malpractice deserve full and fair compensation for all their losses, including past, present, and future expenses. Some amputation errors will leave patients needing a lifetime of care. Victims will have families to support and do not deserve to suffer financial devastation due to the negligence of a medical provider.
Philadelphia Amputation Errors Lawyers
The road to recovery after suffering the loss of a limb is not a simple one. Amputation victims face years of physical therapy, doctor’s appointments, prosthetics, and more in order to regain a sense of normalcy.
If you or someone you love has been impacted by an unnecessary or wrongful amputation, you may be entitled to compensation. The Philadelphia medical malpractice attorneys of Lopez McHugh, LLP are committed to helping amputation malpractice victims receive the justice they deserve. Contact us to schedule a free consultation today.