Undergoing medical treatment is never a pleasant experience; most patients will be in pain, frightened, and nervous or uncertain about the outcome. Whether you are headed to a routine check-up or undergoing surgery to correct something which has gone wrong in the body, your medical team must help you feel safe, secure, and confident.
In most cases, you will be fortunate enough to head into surgery, undergo your operation, and continue home to recover in peace. In a few weeks or even days, the ordeal is merely an unpleasant memory, and you can move forward renewed and healed with a fresh lease on life.
Sadly, some patients are not always this fortunate. Despite guidance and regulations, errors do happen during surgical procedures, and these can have severe consequences for the injured patient. Not only may the existing medical condition be exacerbated, but there is also a risk of additional pain, as well as the psychological issues and trauma that can come with a botched surgery. Surgeons and medical teams are in a high position of trust, and knowing something has gone wrong can have huge implications on patient confidence.
What Options Do I Have?
There is an important distinction that must be made here; you cannot pursue legal action against your surgeon simply because you do not like the outcome. For example, say you headed in for aesthetic plastic surgery to fix a particular perceived flaw. Once you recover and the swelling goes down, you may decide that you are unhappy with the surgeon’s handiwork and wish to rectify the error. While it may be frustrating, this is not a legitimate reason to sue and will not be accepted by a court or any respectable attorney.
You can, however, pursue legal charges if it can be proven that your surgeon made a mistake, that they were negligent, or that they got something wrong. For example, you may have been booked in and undergone surgery for a specific condition, only to wake up and find that you were never sick. Alternatively, the surgeon may have failed to pay due care, causing an error during your operation, which leaves you with lifelong complications and injuries. Both of these will count as medical malpractice, and you may have a chance to seek justice for the error.
Build a Relationship with Your Surgeon
To prove that the surgeon was at fault—or liable for medical malpractice—you will need to prove that a doctor/patient relationship existed at the time of the surgery. This relationship imbues the medical practitioner with a duty of care, and the breach of this forms the basis of any personal injury claim. Your job is then to prove that under a competent surgeon, the injury would not have occurred. Once again, this must be a proven, clear case of medical malpractice; you cannot sue simply for hating the finished appearance of a nose job carried out competently, successfully, and without error.