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Surgical Errors Committed to Relentlessly Pursuing Justice

Jacksonville Surgical Malpractice Attorneys

Compassionate Representation for Victims of Surgical Errors in Jacksonville, FL

When we consent to surgery, we place our trust in the expertise and skill of medical professionals. Unfortunately, not all surgical procedures go as planned. Some surgical complications are beyond the control of healthcare providers, while others may be the result of avoidable errors made by negligent medical professionals. These errors may result in additional health complications, extended recovery periods, or a complete alteration of the patient's quality of life. In some cases, surgical errors can even lead to fatal outcomes.

If you or someone you love suffered harm due to a surgical error, you can turn to Edwards & Ragatz, P.A. for dedicated and solutions-oriented representation. We recognize how disorienting the consequences of a surgical error can be and are here to help you successfully navigate this difficult time. Our Jacksonville surgical malpractice lawyers have over 150+ years of combined legal experience and are ready to help you hold the negligent provider or healthcare institution accountable. Our goal is to help you secure the just compensation you need to start healing, and with a track record of securing millions for our clients, you can trust your case will be in capable hands. 

Discuss your surgical malpractice case with us today. Contact us online or call (904) 295-1050 to schedule a free consultation.

What Is Considered Surgical Malpractice?

The term “surgical malpractice” does not simply refer to a negative outcome of a surgical procedure. After all, some surgical procedures come with certain inherent risks. Even the most skilled surgical team operating at the peak of their abilities may not necessarily be able to deliver an optimal outcome 100% of the time. 

Surgical malpractice instead refers to situations in which a surgeon or any other medical professional involved in the surgical process deviates from the established standard of care, resulting in harm to the patient. The standard of care is a legal term that refers to the level of competence that healthcare providers in a similar field and situation would display.

To establish surgical malpractice, you must generally prove four elements:

  • Duty: Duty refers to the surgeon’s responsibility to provide care to the patient. This is typically straightforward to establish, as agreeing to perform a surgery implies a duty to the patient.
  • Breach of duty: Breach of duty involves proving that the surgeon failed to adhere to the accepted standard of care. This could involve errors in the surgical process itself, such as operating on the wrong body part or leaving a surgical instrument inside the patient, or it could involve pre- or post-operative care, such as failing to provide appropriate instructions for post-surgery care or not adequately preparing the patient for surgery.
  • Causation: You must show that the surgeon’s breach of duty directly caused the harm you sustained. 
  • Damages: Finally, you must be able to demonstrate the physical, emotional, and/or financial damages caused by the breach. 

Gathering the evidence required to pursue a successful surgical error case frequently requires a thorough and careful investigation. Our Jacksonville surgical malpractice attorneys understand how to build a strong case and can work to preserve crucial evidence. 

Common Types of Surgical Errors

Surgical malpractice can take many forms. Errors may occur at any stage of surgical care, right from the initial consultation to the post-operative recovery period.

Common types of surgical malpractice include:

  • Wrong-site surgery: This happens when the surgeon operates on the wrong part of a patient's body, such as the incorrect limb or organ. Root causes can include miscommunication among medical staff, failure to verify the surgery site preoperatively, or even clerical errors in the patient's medical records. The effects of wrong-site surgery can range from unnecessary scarring to significant functional impairment. In some cases, patients may need additional surgeries to reverse the damage or to finally address the initial medical issue that needed surgery.
  • Wrong-patient surgery: This type of malpractice occurs when a surgeon performs a procedure intended for another patient, often due to errors in patient identification or miscommunication within the medical team. The outcomes can be particularly distressing, and in extreme cases, they can even be life-threatening. Apart from the physical harm suffered, the patient also experiences psychological distress due to the mistake and the apprehension of potential future complications.
  • Incorrect surgical procedure: This type of error occurs when a surgeon performs the wrong procedure on a patient, often due to misinterpretation of medical records, lack of proper preoperative verification, or communication failures among the surgical team. For instance, a patient may be scheduled for a specific type of surgical intervention, such as arthroscopy, but instead undergoes a more invasive procedure like arthroplasty. These mistakes can result in unnecessary complications for the patient, including prolonged recovery times, additional medical expenses, increased risk of infections, and psychological distress. In some cases, the patient may require further surgeries to rectify the error and treat the original health condition.
  • Unnecessary surgery: This occurs when a surgeon performs a surgical procedure that is not medically required for the patient, often driven by misinterpretation of diagnostic results, improper patient consultation, or, in some unfortunate instances, financial motivations. The consequences of such unnecessary interventions can be far-reaching, potentially exposing patients to unwarranted risks such as surgical complications, infections, extended recovery times, and the undue physical and emotional trauma of undergoing a surgery they did not need in the first place. Furthermore, it places an unnecessary financial burden on the patient, who may face significant medical bills for the unneeded procedure and potentially extended treatment costs to rectify any complications that arise from the unnecessary surgery.
  • Surgical instruments left inside the body: “Retained surgical instruments” refer to surgical tools or materials (such as sponges, needles, or even scalpels) being unintentionally left inside a patient's body after surgery. Such an oversight can occur due to various factors, including a hectic operating room environment, emergency procedures, or simply a failure in keeping an accurate count of surgical tools. The repercussions of these incidents can be severe and life-threatening, leading to infections, pain, or organ damage. In some cases, a secondary surgery might be required to remove the forgotten instrument, subjecting the patient to additional risks and extending their recovery period.
  • Anesthesia errors: These errors might involve administering too much or too little anesthesia, failing to monitor vital signs during surgery, or not adequately informing the patient about the necessary preoperative procedures. An overdose of anesthesia can cause long-term disability or life-threatening conditions, while an underdose may result in anesthesia awareness, where the patient remains conscious during the procedure and experiences pain and distress. These errors could be due to an anesthesiologist’s negligence, improper work processes, or a lack of communication among the surgical team.
  • Nerve damage: When a surgeon inadvertently harms a nerve during surgery, they can cause pain, numbness, or even paralysis of a certain body part. The aftermath of nerve damage can significantly impact the patient's quality of life, leading to long-term or even permanent disability that may require extensive physical therapy or additional surgeries. The causes of such errors can range from inexperienced surgeons and a lack of proper surgical planning to complex surgical procedures involving delicate or closely packed nerve tissue.
  • Inadequate postoperative care: This encompasses a range of failures in patient management after surgery, including poor wound care, failure to monitor for and to manage potential complications, lack of adequate pain management, and insufficient patient follow-up. In the immediate aftermath of surgery, diligent monitoring is crucial to detect early signs of complications such as infections, bleeding, or adverse reactions to anesthesia. If these early warning signs are missed due to inadequate care, the patient can suffer serious consequences, including extended hospital stays, additional surgeries, permanent damage, or in the worst cases, death. Additionally, inadequate postoperative care can involve failing to provide appropriate discharge instructions to the patient, leading to confusion about medication usage, wound care, or signs of complications to watch for. This lack of information can result in the patient unintentionally exacerbating their condition, leading to more serious health issues.

Our Jacksonville surgical malpractice attorneys are ready to offer personalized legal advocacy. You owe our firm nothing unless we win, so contact us online or call (904) 295-1050 today.

Compensation for Victims of Surgical Malpractice in Florida

If you suffered any kind of harm from what you suspect may have been surgical malpractice, it is in your best interest to get legal advice as soon as possible. You have limited time to take legal action in these cases, and waiting too long can prevent you from recovering compensation. Our Jacksonville surgical malpractice lawyers are ready to listen to your story and get to work on recovering damages. 

Our team at Edwards & Ragatz, P.A. can fight to get you full and fair compensation for all losses, including:

  • Medical expenses for additional treatments and surgeries needed due to the malpractice
  • Future lost earnings if the malpractice resulted in long-term or permanent disability
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium
  • Lost wages for time off work during recovery
  • Record-Setting $228 Million Personal Injury

    Edwards & Ragatz obtained one of the largest injury judgments in Florida's history.

  • Record-Setting $178 Million Catastrophic Injury

    Edwards & Ragatz obtained a $178 Million verdict on behalf of a client who was injured in Jacksonville, FL due to medical malpractice.

  • $23 Million Hospital Negligence

    Edwards & Ragatz obtained $23 Million in a medical malpractice case against a hospital that caused catastrophic injuries to their client.

  • $11 Million Brain Damage

    Edwards & Ragatz obtained $11 Million on behalf of a baby who suffered brain damage due to hospital negligence.

  • $8 Million Medical Malpractice

    Edwards & Ragatz obtained $8 Million against a hospital on behalf of a client who was injured due to medical malpractice.

We Are Edwards & Ragatz

Explore What Sets Us Apart
  • Innovative & Strategic Legal Strategies
    At Edwards & Ragatz, we offer custom legal strategies tailored to your situation. Our approach ensures that we collect higher settlements than what an insurance adjuster might offer.
  • Committed to Quality Legal Counsel
    Our commitment to a compassionate legal process means we speak with you on-site at the accident location, offer flexible meeting times, manage paperwork on your behalf, and provide consistent updates.
  • Proven Legal Experience & Advocacy

    With more than 150+ years of combined legal experience, we have taken on multiple million-dollar corporations and received recoveries through the relentless pursuit of justice.