Arlington, TX Attorney for Surgical Tools Left Inside After Surgery
Most surgeries involve repairing or removing something to help the patient. In some cases, doctors will install a medical device or implant to improve the patient’s quality of life or repair an injury, but those implants and devices are installed with special attention paid to that process. Other surgical tools and medical instruments may end up in a patient after surgery because of errors and mistakes the doctor makes. When this happens, patients could face severe injuries, discomfort, and health conditions from the retained tool, and those patients may be entitled to sue their doctor for the injuries they faced.
If you or a loved one underwent surgery and later discovered a scalpel, sponge, hemostats, forceps, or another surgical tool was left inside your body, call The Queenan Law Firm for a free legal consultation. Our experienced Arlington, TX attorneys for surgical tools left inside after surgery may be able to file a lawsuit against your negligent doctor and work to get you the compensation you need for additional medical care and injuries. For a free legal consultation, call us today at (817) 476-1797.
Suing for Retained Surgical Instruments in Texas
Victims of medical malpractice can undergo various injuries. Although rare, it is possible to face injuries from medical tools that were left inside the patient during surgery. Unlike medical implants and medical devices, which are designed to be left inside the body, many surgical tools are sharp, pointy, or made of materials that degrade inside the body. These tools should not be left inside the body, and you may be entitled to sue if they were left there.
The case is generally filed against your physician for surgical mistakes and medical errors. Your doctor is typically responsible for the rest of their medical team’s actions and mistakes, though some exceptions to this rule exist. When the doctor is an employee of the hospital, you may also be entitled to sue the hospital for its employee’s fault.
To prove your case in court, you must demonstrate how the negligence occurred. When you undergo surgery, you have no ability to control yourself or the items in the room, and the only way that something can be left inside during surgery is if the doctor or their medical team makes that mistake. You can use another physician to testify as a medical expert and describe to the jury how leaving the tool inside fell below the standard of care, and your attorney can use this and other evidence in your case to argue that you deserve compensation for the negligent injuries you faced.
The injuries from this kind of malpractice case can be severe, and you can claim the full value of any compensation related to your case when you file a medical malpractice lawsuit. First, you can sue for the cost of additional healthcare related to the injury. This can include medical imaging to discover the injury as well as damages for additional surgery and medical care to remove the tool. Lost wages may result if you need to take time off work to have the tool removed or if the injuries from the tool make working difficult, and you can claim compensation for these lost wages as well. You can also claim compensation for the pain and suffering and other intangible effects of the injury.
Statute of Limitations on Suing for Medical Tools Left Inside During Surgery
If you were injured by medical tools that were left inside your body, it can be difficult to discover the injury. In many cases, your doctor will not realize that they left something inside, and so their typical response to complaints of pain or discomfort might be to assure you that pain and discomfort are normal after surgery. It may not be until months or years later when the pain still persists or when more dangerous illness arises that you finally find the tool left inside you. Because of this, suing for these kinds of injuries often requires awareness about the time limit to file these kinds of cases.
In most injury cases in Texas, you have only 2 years to file your lawsuit. This is because a law known as the statute of limitations blocks cases filed after 2 years from going to court. With medical malpractice cases, the time limit does not typically start to run until the date of the end of your treatment, which may give you a few extra days after the injury to account for your hospital stay before the statute of limitations begins to run. Minors under 12 can also have extra time and are permitted to wait until their 14th birthday to file their claim.
In some cases, patients may be able to file their case late if the injury was “inherently undiscoverable” even through due diligence. However, this type of exception under the “discovery rule” is not always acceptable in Texas courts, which are notoriously strict with their 2-year deadlines. If you suffered pain and discomfort after surgery, it is vital to get a second opinion from another doctor and to speak with a lawyer about your potential injury as soon as possible to ensure your rights are protected and your claim is preserved.
Call Our Arlington, TX Surgical Instrument Retention Injury Lawyers Today for a Free Consultation
If you underwent surgery and faced discomfort and pain afterward, talk to an attorney right away. You may have a limited time to file a lawsuit for surgical tools left inside after surgery, and The Queenan Law Firm might be able to help. For a free legal consultation on your potential claim, call our law offices today at (817) 476-1797. Our Arlington attorneys for surgical tools left inside might be able to help with your claim, but you may need to act quickly to preserve your case.