Foreign Objects Left in Bodies
Certain risks are associated with all surgeries, but some harm that arises from procedures should not occur under any circumstances and clearly constitutes evidence of an error. For example, a surgeon should never leave a foreign object in a person’s body. Nevertheless, sponges, gauze, and other items are sometimes left in patients after surgeries, causing significant health issues. If you sustained injuries due to a surgeon carelessly leaving an object in your body, you likely have a viable claim for medical malpractice and should speak to a lawyer promptly. The Boca Raton surgical malpractice lawyers at The Grife Law Firm are skilled at helping people harmed by foreign objects left in bodies seek compensation for their losses. We have the resources and experience needed to help you pursue a favorable result.Causes and Consequences of Foreign Objects Left in Bodies
Usually, a surgeon will keep track of the instruments and tools used during surgery by counting them before beginning the procedure and prior to suturing a patient. In some instances, though, a surgeon may not adhere to this practice, which can cause an object to be left behind in a person. Small and soft items, such as sponges and gauze, are more likely to be left behind, since they can be difficult to see during procedures. When an object is left in a person, it can cause severe pain, lacerations, organ and nerve damage, and infections. In most instances, a second surgery will be necessary to remove the object from the person's body.Foundations of a Florida Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
Leaving a foreign object in a patient provides strong grounds for a medical malpractice claim. Regardless of how clear liability seems, though, a plaintiff must prove each element of medical negligence to recover damages. Specifically, the plaintiff needs to show that the defendant was obligated to provide the patient with treatment that a reasonable doctor working in the same specialty would find acceptable and appropriate under the circumstances. The plaintiff then needs to establish that the defendant departed from this standard of care and that the departure caused the plaintiff to suffer actual harm. For example, if the standard dictates that a doctor should count all the items used during a surgical procedure, but the defendant did not, which resulted in an object being left in the plaintiff, this may constitute medical negligence.Damages Awarded for Foreign Objects Left in Bodies
Florida Statute 766.202 defines the damages recoverable in medical malpractice cases. It states that a plaintiff who demonstrates a defendant's fault may recover economic damages, which are the financial losses caused by the harm out of which the lawsuit arose. Economic damages include the cost of past and future medical expenses, a percentage of lost wages, and loss of earning capacity. Statute 766.202 also states that a plaintiff can recover non-economic damages, which refer to the intangible losses caused by the injury, such as suffering, pain, mental anguish, and physical impairment.
In addition to economic and non-economic damages, in some instances, a plaintiff in a medical malpractice lawsuit can recover punitive damages. Florida Statute 768.72 provides that punitive damages may only be granted in cases in which the plaintiff produces convincing and clear evidence that the defendant committed gross negligence or engaged in intentional misconduct. Gross negligence is behavior that is so reckless and devoid of care that it shows a knowing indifference to the life and safety of another person.Consult a Capable Boca Raton Attorney
Foreign objects left in a person's body during surgery can cause pain, infection, and other illnesses and frequently require another invasive procedure. If you were harmed by a doctor leaving an item in your body, you can seek damages via a lawsuit and should speak to an attorney. The capable medical malpractice lawyers at The Grife Law Firm can assess your possible claims and aid you in pursuing the full amount of compensation recoverable under the law. We regularly represent injured people in lawsuits in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, and West Palm Beach. You can contact us through our form online or by calling 855-998-0770 to set up a consultation.