The brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves are complex and delicate structures that allow our bodies to function. Neurosurgeons spend years of intensive training to treat conditions that affect the brain and nervous system—because a failure in care can result in severe and irreversible harm to the patient. Out of every medical specialty, neurosurgeons face the most medical malpractice claims every year, with over 19 percent of all neurosurgeons facing one or more claims every year, according to a CBS News report.
Here are the facts that patients need to be aware of regarding neurosurgical medical malpractice, including common causes for malpractice claims, the potential damages that injured patients can recover with a personal injury lawsuit, and how to get legal help if you or a loved one have been hurt.
Common Causes of Neurosurgical Malpractice
Medical malpractice is generally defined by the actions of the doctor or another healthcare professional. Not every medical mistake or poor outcome is considered medical malpractice, but when the neurosurgeon negligently acts in a manner that fails to uphold the accepted standards of the profession, and a patient is harmed, it may be a medical malpractice situation. In neurosurgery, some typical scenarios can include:
- Failure to diagnose a stroke or other condition that should have been caught and treated
- Failure to correctly diagnose or treat a traumatic brain injury in a timely fashion
- Inappropriately treating a condition or using the wrong treatment entirely
- Injuring the spinal cord during a back surgery
- Nerve injuries to other parts of the body
- Operating on the wrong site or location on the body
- Other surgical failures, such as a failed laminectomy or failed spinal fusion
When a neurosurgeon makes a mistake during the treatment of a disease or in the course of a surgery, the consequences for the patient can be extremely severe. Patients can face issues such as:
- A lifetime of chronic, intractable pain
- Reduced sensation or complete loss of feeling in a limb, body part, or the whole body
- Partial or complete paralysis of a limb, side of the body, or entire body
- Mental deficits and learning disabilities
- Problems speaking or understanding speech
There are many other potential consequences of neurosurgical medical malpractice, such as a shortened lifespan, or even death.
Recovering Damages From Neurosurgical Malpractice
After suffering harm due to the negligence of a neurosurgeon, victims are entitled to seek compensation for the costs and expenses related to the injury. Some of the economic damages that you may be able to recover include the costs of:
- Hospitalization, follow-up, and long-term care needs
- Multiple surgeries or surgical revisions
- Pain control therapy and other medications
- Crutches, canes, electric wheelchairs, or other mobility devices
- Other durable medical equipment and disposable medical supplies
- Skilled nursing or long-term nursing assistance or nursing home care
Victims of malpractice can also pursue compensation for non-economic damages, such as the loss of a limb or the loss of use of a limb or portion of the body, loss of enjoyment, and pain and suffering. In rare cases, punitive damages may also be awarded, if the doctor was found to be grossly negligent. Talk to your attorney about the specific damages that you may be eligible for, as every case is unique.
Get Legal Help Today
Pursuing a medical malpractice case is a legally complicated and technically challenging situation. A personal injury attorney with experience handling malpractice cases like yours can guide you through the entire process, including attempting to negotiate a fair settlement and representing you in a court of law to ensure that your right to full compensation for your injuries is protected.
The attorneys at Wayne Wright LLP have been standing up for the rights of medical malpractice victims for decades, and we’re here to help you and your family in your time of need. We’ll fight for you in a court of law so that you can get the compensation you deserve when the medical industry has failed you. To arrange a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced legal professional to talk about your legal needs, call us by phone today, use our online contact form to send an email, or click the live chat box on this page right now.