Surgery and other medical procedures are complex procedures that require sophisticated tools, devices, and staff. Different doctors and healthcare providers specialize in caring for different parts of the body or performing different types of procedures. One of those specialties is anesthesia, with anesthesiologists and nurse anesthetists training specifically in its use to help patients get through procedures without pain and discomfort.
When these doctors and healthcare providers fail to use the proper care or skill, anesthesia can cause serious injuries and even death. If you or a loved one was affected by anesthesia malpractice, call The Queenan Law Firm today at (817) 476-1797. Our Dallas anesthesia malpractice injury and death lawyers represent injury victims and their families and work to get them financial compensation for the injuries they faced from negligent use of anesthesia.
Proving Medical Malpractice in Anesthesia Cases
Most people outside the medical field are familiar with anesthesia in that they know it puts patients to sleep and numbs them for surgery. A jury deciding your medical malpractice case likely has this basic understanding, but they do not know the ins and outs of using anesthesia and have little to no idea what kinds of problems and complications are within the standard risks of using anesthesia and what problems go beyond the pale and are caused by negligent healthcare. One of the most important parts of your case will be proving to the jury that the harm you suffered came from your physician’s negligence and was not just an expected side effect.
Anesthetizing a patient involves using very powerful drugs to put the patient to sleep, numb them so they cannot feel the procedure, and keep them from moving during the procedure. Even with local anesthesia, strong drugs are used to block the feeling of pain and discomfort at the surgical site. These drugs have many side effects, including drowsiness, nausea, numbness, and lethargy. However, doctors should be aware of those side effects, and failing to keep the patient safe by administering the right amount of drug can be considered negligent in many cases.
Your attorney will often use a medical expert to analyze your case and present it to the jury. This will typically be a doctor with similar training and experience to the physician that treated you. Your expert will be able to speak to what standards of care are applicable and what your doctor should have done differently to prevent your injuries. The jury can take this information as fact and use it to judge whether your doctor’s care was adequate or not.
Many medical negligence cases involving anesthesia errors involve obviously dangerous and terrible outcomes, such as the following:
- Patients feeling surgery through the anesthesia
- Patients waking up during surgery
- Patients falling into comas
- Patients suffering a lack of oxygen
- Patients suffering prolonged numbness after surgery
- Patients dying from too much anesthesia
In many of these cases, it is obvious that something went wrong, and your attorney can help present evidence and expert testimony to help prove this to the jury. The standard you must meet is not the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard used in criminal cases, but is instead a “more likely than not” standard called “a preponderance of the evidence.”
Damages for Medical Malpractice from Improper Anesthesia Use in Texas
When suing for injuries or the death of a loved one, you are typically entitled to claim any damages stemming from the at-fault party’s negligent actions. In the case of injury or death due to negligent use of anesthesia, your damages will typically include lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering. In the case of a loved one’s death, you will suffer additional damages you can seek compensation for.
If you were put into a coma or needed additional hospitalization and medical care because of anesthesia-related injuries, you should be entitled to claim the lost wages and medical care costs associated with this negligence. If you need to stay at the hospital longer and cannot return to work, the doctor who committed the negligence against you should be responsible for paying you back for the wages you lost as well as the additional care costs you incurred.
Pain and suffering is also an incredibly important area of damages in most medical negligence cases. These damages are paid to you directly to account for the physical pain and mental suffering you faced. These damages have certain limitations and caps set by law in Texas, but your attorney can help guide you through calculating these damages and help you understand how much you can still receive.
The death of a loved one often involves additional harms. While you can still claim damages for the deceased’s medical care, pain and suffering, and lost wages before death, you can also claim damages that your family suffers. Losing a spouse or parent who helps provide income for the family can entitle you to claim damages for their ongoing lost wages, lost inheritances, lost investments, and other financial injuries. You can also claim the cost of funeral and burial expenses as well as your costs for grief counseling and other effects of death. Lastly, you can claim damages for the lost companionship, lost counsel, lost household services, and other losses you suffer.
For a Free Case Consultation, Call Our Dallas Anesthesia Death and Injury Attorneys
If you or a loved one was injured by negligent use of anesthesia during a medical procedure, contact The Queenan Law Firm today. Our Dallas anesthesia death and injury attorneys represent victims of medical malpractice and fight to get them justice for the harms and injuries they faced. For a free legal consultation on your case, call our law offices today at (817) 476-1797.