Wrong Site Surgery Compensation
Wrong site surgery compensation can never make up for what is considered to be one of the worst mistakes a surgeon can make. Routine operations intended to remove a damaged or diseased body part which see healthy tissue removed can be utterly devastating for a patient and their families. Fortunately incidences of wrong site surgery are relatively rare but, if you have been the victim of such a medical mistake, you may be entitled to claim wrong site surgery compensation.
Wrong site surgery may involve an operation on the wrong side of the body such as the incorrect eye, which leaves a patient blind. It can be a procedure on the correct side of the body but the incorrect location, such as the incorrect muscle, or on the right side and in the right location, but with the wrong medical procedure performed.
All personal injury claims require proof that an injury has taken place and that there has been negligence, and while medical negligence claims can often be difficult to prove, in the case of wrong site surgery compensation claims it is quite apparent that there has been negligence and a serious injury has been caused as a result. Wrong site surgery compensation claims are the clearest possible case of medical negligence, and although such cases will result in wrong site surgery compensation being awarded, placing a value on the resultant disability, injuries or even the death of a patient can be complicated. It is imperative that in order to be awarded adequate wrong site surgery compensation that a specialist wrong site surgery compensation solicitor is consulted for advice and to process a compensation claim.
How Does Wrong Site Surgery Happen?
It is not clear why such serious medical errors are allowed to continually occur, when such basic errors are clearly preventable. Wrong site surgery may not be entirely the fault of the surgeon, and while pre-surgery checks should have been made, errors committed by other medical staff such as with the preparation of a patient for operation may have been to blame in a gross failure of the administrative system.
Pre-operation preparation of a client when left and right have been confused could have introduced an error which was not spotted by a surgeon. The use of abbreviations on medical notes could lead to an incorrect procedure or a failure to bring the patient’s medical notes into the theatre would prevent final checks from being completed prior to a procedure. In many cases the error could be as simple as a failure to label the patient correctly with a wristband on admission.
Due to the rise in wrong site surgery blunders, the National Patient Safety Agency and the Royal College of Surgeons have responded by issuing guidelines to surgeons and issuing a protocol which must be followed before any operation. The protocol is straightforward and requires surgeons and doctors to check, double check, and triple check before any procedure is commenced, such as checking the identity of the patient, consulting documentation, marking the site for surgery and rechecking in the ward, on leaving the ward, and in the operating theatre. The new protocol may have helped to prevent wrong site surgery, however the problem persists and mistakes continue to be made.
Making a Wrong Site Surgery Compensation Claim
Wrong site surgery compensation claims will be pursued against all individuals who are deemed to have been grossly negligent in their duty of care to a patient, and a wrong site surgery compensation solicitor would seek appropriate compensation from all affected parties.
Wrong site surgery compensation cases are almost always high profile cases due to the newsworthy nature of the errors which play on many people’s worst fears about surgery. The errors can produce serious disabilities, such as the loss of a healthy limb, as well as the risks of a second surgical procedure. In cases of testicular or ovarian cancer, wrong site surgery may result in something as devastating as a patient being unable to have children. Removal of a healthy kidney will require a suitable donor kidney to be found – the delay to which could seriously jeopardise the life of a patient and could mean a lifetime of constant dialysis. Wrong site surgery compensation is also awarded victims of medical blunders which have seen the correct surgical procedure completed successfully, but on the wrong patient.
Wrong Site Surgery Compensation Payments
Wrong site surgery compensation is awarded in two categories which cover the pain, suffering and loss of amenity resulting from an erroneous operation, and any costs which have been incurred as a result of incorrect wrong site surgery. General damages are awarded as wrong site surgery compensation for the physical disability which results, in addition to any loss of opportunity, loss of function and the pain and suffering caused. General damages cover not only the physical injury, but also psychological issues which develop following the discovery of the procedural blunder, such as depression and post traumatic stress disorder.
Special damages cover any actual financial costs which arise from the injuries sustained; such as medical charges, changes to accommodation, increases in the cost of living, home help and ongoing medical care costs – together with any supportable expense which has directly resulted from the incorrect surgical procedure. Any loss of income which has resulted from the initial wrong site surgery – or which will occur in the future due to revision surgery – can also be recovered in a wrong site surgery compensation claim, as well as any legal fees which are paid in the pursuit of such a claim.
The Statute of Limitations and Wrong Site Surgery Compensation Claims
Wrong site surgery is clearly apparent quickly after the procedure has taken place; usually when a doctor makes a follow up examination after surgery. From the date that the injury is discovered, there is a Statute of Limitations on making a wrong site surgery compensation claim which is usually 3 years after the event. Any claim attempted after this date will almost certainly be time-barred, so it is important that a wrong site surgery compensation solicitor is contacted at the earliest opportunity for advice on making a claim for wrong site surgery compensation.
Third Party Capture and Wrong Site Surgery Compensation
Wrong site surgery compensation claims are clear cases of medical negligence, and will almost certainly result in a sizeable compensation payment being awarded. When faced with incontrovertible evidence of negligence, medical insurance companies may be keen to limit losses and contact the patient directly with an offer of compensation – even before a wrong site surgery compensation solicitor has been contacted. Compensation payments can be considerable, and a medical insurance company will be keen to limit third party legal costs and avoid a high settlement figure typically awarded in the courts.
If you have been the victim of a wrong site surgical procedure, had an incorrect operation performed, or undergone an operation which was not intended for you, you should be eligible to claim wrong site surgery compensation. Any offer of settlement from an insurance company must be considered with the help of a wrong site surgery compensation solicitor. There is great potential for wrong site surgery compensation claims to be under-settled by an insurer, and their offer of settlement may fail to take into account the life-long medical costs and loss of amenity which result. It is inadvisable to accept any offer of wrong site surgery compensation, no matter how large the settlement, without first seeking legal advice from an experienced wrong site surgery compensation solicitor.