Claiming for Wrong Site Surgery

Claiming for Wrong Site Surgery Compensation

Claiming for wrong site surgery can never make up for what is considered to be one of the worst mistakes a surgeon can make, but compensation for wrong site surgery can provide the funds to pay for private revision surgery to correct the error wherever feasible and provide you with the financial security – and the time – to enable the fullest recovery possible.

A routine operation intended to remove a damaged or diseased body part which sees healthy tissue removed in error can be utterly devastating for a patient and their families. Fortunately incidences of wrong site surgery are relatively rare in Ireland but, if you – or somebody close to you – have been the victim of such a medical mistake, you should discuss the possibility of claiming for wrong site surgery with an experienced medical negligence solicitor at the first practical opportunity.

How Does Wrong Site Surgery Happen?

It is not always clear why such serious medical errors 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 hospital administrative system.

The use of abbreviations on medical notes or a failure to bring the patient’s medical notes into the theatre would prevent final checks from being completed which result in wrong site surgery. 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 or, in some cases the error could be as simple as a failure to label the patient correctly with a wristband on admission.

Claiming for Wrong Site Surgery Compensation

All personal injury claims require proof that an injury has taken place which has been caused by the negligence of somebody who owed you a duty of care and, while medical negligence claims can often be difficult to prove, when claiming for wrong site surgery compensation 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 claims 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. As a claim for wrong site surgery cannot be processed by the Injuries Board Ireland, it is imperative that an experienced medical negligence solicitor is consulted for advice and to help with claiming for wrong site surgery.

Wrong site surgery claims 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 or, 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 may require a suitable donor kidney to be identified – a delay to which could seriously jeopardise the life of a patient and could mean a lifetime of constant dialysis. Wrong site surgery compensation may also awarded victims of medical errors which have seen the correct surgical procedure completed successfully, but on the wrong patient.

Wrong Site Surgery Settlements

Wrong site surgery settlements are 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 wrong site surgery. General damages are awarded as wrong site surgery compensation for the physical disability which results from the hospital´s error, in addition to any loss of opportunity, loss of function and the prospect of revision surgery. General damages cover not only the physical injury that has been sustained, but also quantifiable 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 are incurred due to the injuries sustained; such as medical charges, alterations to accommodation, increases in the cost of living, home help and ongoing medical care costs – together with any supportable expenses which have directly resulted from the incorrect surgical procedure. Any loss of income which has been suffered due to the initial wrong site surgery – or which will occur in the future due to revision surgery – can also be recovered when claiming for wrong site surgery, as well as any legal fees which are paid in the pursuit of such a claim.

Third Party Capture and Wrong Site Surgery Settlements

There is little defence against wrong site surgery claims when proven, and a claim for wrong site surgery will almost certainly result in a sizeable compensation settlement. When faced with incontrovertible evidence of negligence, medical insurance companies may be keen to limit their losses and contact the patient directly with an offer of a wrong site surgery settlement – sometimes even before a solicitor has been contacted by the victim.

Any offer of wrong site surgery settlement from an insurance company should only be considered after your claim for wrong site surgery has been assessed by an experienced medical negligence 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 from their client´s negligence. It is inadvisable to accept any offer of wrong site surgery compensation, no matter how large the proposed settlement, without first seeking legal advice from an experienced medical negligence solicitor.