Although surgery might enhance a person’s quality of life, surgical procedures carry inherent risks. A surgeon must use all their skills and knowledge to the best of their ability to manage potential complications.

If you experienced serious complications after a surgical procedure, you could seek compensation from the medical professionals whose negligence caused you harm. A Poughkeepsie post-operative complications lawyer could review your case and explain the legal options that are available to you.

Surgeon Must Obtain Informed Consent

A surgeon has an obligation under the New York Code, Rules, and Regulations § 405.7 (9)(b) to provide all patients over age 18 with information about the risks and benefits of a surgical procedure. When the patient is a minor, the parent or other person who makes medical decisions for the minor must receive this information. If an emergency requires immediate surgical intervention, the surgeon must provide the information to the patient or family members as soon as possible.

To obtain informed consent, a physician must explain the foreseeable risks of the procedure, as well as any alternative treatments that could be available. The law also requires that a patient have an opportunity to ask questions and consider various options before deciding about a particular treatment or procedure. If a surgeon fails to obtain informed consent and a patient suffers a foreseeable complication, they could be liable for the patient’s damages.

Proving a lack of informed consent requires a Poughkeepsie post-surgery complications attorney to demonstrate that the surgeon did not reveal all the possible consequences that a reasonable surgeon would have revealed. The injured patient’s legal representative also must prove that the patient would not have agreed to the procedure if the surgeon had informed them of the risk.

Negligent Care Could Lead to Complications

A surgeon and other medical professionals could be liable if the quality of their care led to a post-operative complication. Post-operative conditions that might be tied to negligent medical care include infection, excessive bleeding, pneumonia, deep vein thrombosis, and pulmonary embolism.

Hospitals have procedures to prevent these complications, such as counting instruments before closing a surgical site, changing wound dressings at regular intervals, getting the patient up and moving as soon as possible, prescribing specific medications, and closely monitoring the patient’s vital signs during the recovery period. Failing to adhere to hospital policies and procedures regarding these issues could be medical negligence if the patient develops a complication due to the failure.

A surgeon or hospital staff member could be negligent in other ways. Any action or omission that is not in keeping with the standards a patient could expect from a similarly trained professional in a similar circumstance might be negligence. A post-surgical complication attorney in Poughkeepsie could seek a medical expert to review a patient’s record to determine whether a complication resulted from a failure to provide an adequate standard of care.

Seeking Legal Advice After Surgery

Each state limits the time in which an injured person has to bring a lawsuit alleging medical malpractice. These laws are called statutes of limitation. New York Civil Practice Law and Rules § 214-A allows injured patients two and a half years (30 months) to file a medical malpractice suit.

The statute of limitations period begins on the date that the injury took place. If the patient continued to receive treatment from the surgeon, the clock starts on the date of last treatment. If the surgeon left a foreign body in the surgical site (such as a sponge or a surgical instrument), the patient could bring a lawsuit up to one year after discovering the object.

A Poughkeepsie attorney must file a document called a Certificate of Merit with the complaint that begins a lawsuit. This document states that a medical professional reviewed the record and believes the patient’s care was not commensurate with an appropriate standard. If a lawyer cannot obtain a certificate of merit before the statute of limitations expires, they may file the lawsuit but must file the certificate within 90 days. A judge will dismiss a malpractice lawsuit if the attorney does not file a certificate of merit on time.

Seek Damages with a Poughkeepsie Post-Operative Complications Attorney

If you experienced complications after surgery due to medical negligence, you could seek damages for your losses. Medical professionals are legally responsible for the results of providing substandard care. A Poughkeepsie post-operative complications lawyer is adept at guiding these complex cases to a successful conclusion, so schedule a consultation today.