Orthopedic malpractice takes place when the surgeon fails to perform the surgery correctly. The term ‘malpractice’ is broader in nature as it includes a lot of things. At times, orthopedic malpractices can also happen before or after surgery. This is where an orthopedic expert witness plays an integral role. Before understanding their role, let’s learn some of the common malpractice instances have been discussed below.
Examples of malpractice cases before surgery are as follows:
- Failure to discuss the surgical procedure to the patients
- Failure to consider the previous medical history of the patients
- Failure to seek approval both in verbal and written forms from the patient.
Consent is very important as far as surgical procedure is concerned. If the patient gives their consent on the surgery but still faces complications post-surgery, there cannot be malpractice claims. However, claims can be made if the doctor got the patient’s approval without discussing the pros and cons.
The post-surgical malpractice happens when the doctor fails to keep the patient under observation after surgery. The patient should be given good care after surgery is done. The incisions should be bandaged and strong antibiotics should be prescribed to heal pain and inflammation. If it fails to do so, then there can be malpractice claims.
Surgical malpractices include- cutting the wrong organ, leaving foreign objects inside the body, using unsterilized equipment, using wrong medical equipment, etc.
Need of Expert witness
If you’ve been a victim of medical negligence, you should immediately get in touch with an attorney. These attorneys will call upon an expert witness to determine the malpractice and also for deposition services. To prove negligence, it is important to establish four essential things and this is one of the sole reasons why expert witnesses are retained.
The 4 important things to establish are as follows:
- Duty of care– When a patient is under the observation or medication of a doctor, the latter has a duty of care towards the patient. This is the first thing that establishes a doctor-patient relationship.
- Breach of duty of care– When the doctor breaches the established medical standards, it is known as the breach of duty of care. Medical negligence claims can be brought for the breach of duty of care.
- Causation– This is the most difficult thing to prove. In this, the expert needs to prove that there has been malpractice and it is due to this negligence of the surgeon that the patient has sustained injuries.
- Damages– It is the continuation of the third point. The damages caused to the patient due to the negligence of the surgeon are determined.
Patients can make compensation claims both for monetary and non-monetary damages. However, to successfully get your claims, an orthopedic expert witness is a must. Without their medico-legal guidance, it is impossible to settle your claims. For the case to be in your favor, the expert witness as well as the attorney needs to work in collaboration.