Whether it is for a minor problem or a major condition, surgery always comes with a certain amount of risk. If you recently had surgery and the outcome was not what you were hoping for you are likely dealing with a number of emotions that may include frustration, depression, and even anger. You may also be wondering whether the fact that your surgery had a poor outcome means you are the victim of medical malpractice. The only way to know with any certainty whether your circumstances amount to the base for a medical malpractice lawsuit is to consult with an experienced medical malpractice attorney; however, it may also be beneficial, in the meantime, to gain a better understanding of what is typically required to prove malpractice.
What Do You Need to Claim Malpractice?
A poor outcome, alone, is not enough to claim medical malpractice. Although we do hold physicians, and others in the healthcare professions, to a high standard of care, they are not expected to be perfect. Moreover, all surgeries come with inherent risks and no certain outcome. For all of these reasons, a poor outcome alone is not sufficient to claim malpractice. It may, however, amount to medical malpractice depending on the underlying reason for the poor outcome.
Healthcare professionals are held to a standard of care that is different from the typical standard of care used in other personal injury scenarios. The “medical standard of care” is typically defined as the level and type of care that a reasonably competent and skilled health care professional, with a similar background and in the same medical community, would have provided under the circumstances that led to the alleged malpractice. In other words, did the surgeon do, or not do, what another surgeon with similar education and experience have done under the same circumstances? If so, malpractice is unlikely. If the surgeon deviated from the standard of care you may have the basis for a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Another issue to consider is “informed consent.” Because of the inherent risks anytime surgery is performed the surgeon has a duty to inform you of those risks and the possible outcomes of the surgery ahead of time. If you were not informed of the possibility that the outcome could be poor, you may have the basis for a medical malpractice lawsuit based on lack of informed consent.
If you have additional questions or concerns, contact the Louisiana medical malpractice attorneys at Broussard & Hart, LLC by calling 337-439-2450 to schedule a consultation today.