Can the person sue for negligence if there were issues after surgery? 28 Answers as of July 17, 2013

Someone recently had gallbladder removed. The doctor could not get the dye to flow to test liver blockage. The person was sent home a week later with stitches. After a week, the liver began to fail due to blockage. Can the person sue for negligence?

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Law Office of Ronald Arthur Lowry
Law Office of Ronald Arthur Lowry | Ronald Arthur Lowry
Yes but must prove negligence.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 2/1/2012
Steven Harrell, Attorney at Law | Waymon Steven Harrell
You need to see an attorney that files medical malpractice cases. The attorney can order the medical records, and get them reviewed by a medical professional that can then render an opinion on the standard of care that applies, and whether there was medical negligence involved in the procedure.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 2/1/2012
R. D. Kelly Law Firm, P.L.L.C.
R. D. Kelly Law Firm, P.L.L.C. | Robert Kelly
Medical malpractice cases in the great State of Washington are governed by statutes. RCW 7.70. (http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=7.70). The main question is usually whether the health care provider failed to follow the accepted standard of care in the field. RCW 7.70.030. There can also be causes of action for health care providers making promises they didn't fulfil, or acting without the informed consent of the patient. These cases are extremely difficult and require the testimony of an expert witness. Miller V. Jacoby, 102 Wn. App. 256 (2000). (You can read relevant cases at the MRSC website.) Doctors are trained to work cooperatively (unlike lawyers who are trained to be adversarial), so doctors are often reluctant to testify against each other. Doctors who are willing to testify as expert witness usually charge significant quantities of money to do so, and often must be flown in from out of State. Some law firms who are really good at medical malpractice cases in Washington State include the following: Chris Otorowski (http://www.medilaw.com/); Chemnick, Moen, Greenstreet (http://cmglaw.com/); and Fuller & Fuller (http://www.fullerlaw.com/). Only a small percentage of victims of medical malpractice make a claim, and of those that do, only about 20% ever get any money to compensate them. Nonetheless, sometimes justice requires assigning responsibility where it is due.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 1/31/2012
Ford, Howard & Cornett, P.C. | Bradley Cornett
What you describe is a potential medical malpractice claim. The primary question is whether or not the surgeon breached the standard of care. To answer this question, you need a qualified physician to establish the applicable standard of care in the medical community and then opine as to whether or not the surgeon failed to meet that standard and thereby proximately caused injury. Such claims should be reviewed by an experienced medical malpractice attorney (almost all of whom are happy to provide a free initial consultation and evaluation of a potential case).
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 1/31/2012
The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
That would assume that there was negligence. Your facts do not appear to support such a conclusion. However, the only way to know is, as is required, to ask a doctor. That is best handled by an injury attorney that does medical negligence cases. Initial consultations are generally free, though you may have to pay for the doctor's report whether he/she agrees there is negligence.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/31/2012
    Wilson & Hajek,LLC, a personal injury law firm
    Wilson & Hajek,LLC, a personal injury law firm | Francis Hajek
    Medical malpractice answers are rarely obvious. A review of the medical records may reveal an obvious breach of the standard of care, but it is unlikely. It always helps if the victim of medical negligence has a theory as to why they were injured. If we think there is a potential case, we obtain the records and have a medical specialist in the field look them over to see if there is negligence. So, the first step is to sit down with a medical malpractice attorney and go over the facts.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 1/31/2012
    Law Offices of Richard Copeland, LLC
    Law Offices of Richard Copeland, LLC | Richard Copeland
    There are often issues after surgery, but that does not mean that a doctor was negligent. From the facts you have given, there may or may not be a case against doctor. You should consult an attorney, and the attorney will need the medical records to review. The attorney may well need to consult with an expert before giving you an opinion whether or not the doctor's treatment fell below the standard of care for the doctor's specialty. From the limited facts given, it seems very possible that the doctor acted appropriately but simply could not complete the desired test due to the physical condition of the patient.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 1/31/2012
    Joel H. Schwartz, P.C.
    Joel H. Schwartz, P.C. | Steven A. Schwartz
    Anyone can be sued for negligence. The issue is whether the case has merit. In order to help determine this, you would need to have a medical expert review the medical records to see if there was substandard care. My best advice is to contact an experienced personal injury attorney in your area immediately for a free consultation. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 1/31/2012
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
    Generally, a medical expert would have to testify that a breach of the standard of care happened, and that breach caused the damages. Further, due to the expense of litigating a medical malpractice case (easily exceeding $100,000.00), unless the damages include death or round the clock medical care, the few firms that handle those claims are likely to reject the case.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 1/31/2012
    Attorney & Counselor at Law
    Attorney & Counselor at Law | John Hugger
    Whenever a doctor is being sued for negligence in Colorado, another doctor in the field will eventually have to be identified to testify that in such consulting doctor's opinion that the treating doctor was negligent in failing to perform a duty owed to the patient. So yes, someone can sue but without the doctor being lined up ahead of time the case will be dismissed unless a certification is filed within sixty days that another doctor has been consulted and in the opinion of that second doctor, the first doctor was negligent. Consult with an attorney and/or another doctor ASAP.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 1/31/2012
    Chalat Hatten Koupal & Banker PC
    Chalat Hatten Koupal & Banker PC | Linda Chalat
    We caution all potential clients that medical malpractice claims are very difficult to win - few settle and those that are tried are won by the doctor 9 out of 10 times. Those cases which have the best chance for a good outcome for the plaintiff are those where a clear act of negligence, or omission of appropriate care, are clearly apparent in the medical record. If your surgeon attempted to determine proper flow to the liver but was unable to do so, and you suffered liver damage because of the compromised flow then you may have a med mal claim.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 1/31/2012
    Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator
    Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator | Bernard Huff
    The aggrieved party should consult with a plaintiff's medical malpractice lawyer for specific legal advice and direction.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 1/31/2012
    Dunnings Law Firm
    Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
    You can try to sue for just about anything. The question is whether you have sufficient evidence to prove that the person you are suing did something that was negligent and you can prove that negligence was the cause of the resulting injury.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 1/31/2012
    Hodges Law Firm, LLC | Warner Russell Hodges
    Not enough info. Did the liver actually fail? If so, the damages may be great enough for a medical malpractice lawyer to take a serious look at this.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 1/31/2012
    DEAN T. JENNINGS, P.C.
    DEAN T. JENNINGS, P.C. | Dean T Jennings
    Possibly, you will need an expert to review all of the medical records and then testify if the medical expert can give the opinion that it was done wrong.
    Answer Applies to: Iowa
    Replied: 1/31/2012
    Painter Law Firm PLLC
    Painter Law Firm PLLC | Robert Painter
    This is definitely a case that needs investigated by a medical malpractice attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 7/17/2013
    Mishkind Law Firm, Co., L.P.A.
    Mishkind Law Firm, Co., L.P.A. | Howard Mishkind
    Yes. If the surgeon that did the gallbladder surgery should have determined during the surgery that there was a problem with the liver and he failed to take appropriate steps to treat the condition, there may be a cause of action. If the liver failed resulting in permanent damage that would have been avoided if the blockage had been discovered during the gallbladder surgery then there may be a cause of action. In order to prove that the surgeon was negligent, you will need to establish, through expert testimony of another surgeon, that a reasonable surgeon, under similar circumstances, should have recognized that there was a problem with the liver . You will next have to prove that the failure to treat the liver problem was a deviation in the standard of care and that as a result the patient suffered permanent injury to the liver. If you are unable to prove that the injury to the liver, due to the short delay, would have been avoided then there will be no damage as a result of his negligence. You should have the patient discuss the specifics of the surgery so that he or she can be advised whether this type of case has merit and whether the surgeon can be held responsible for the outcome. Hope this helps.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 1/31/2012
    Andrews & Sanders Law Office
    Andrews & Sanders Law Office | Richard A Sanders Jr
    If a doctor is negligent then it's possible to file a medical malpractice claim. Generally, in Georgia a person has two years from the date of injury to file a lawsuit. (There are alot of ins and outs when it comes to Georgia's statute of limitations- if this is an issue then you should contact an attorney as soon as possible). In Georgia, if you file a medical malpractice claim and you are alleging that the Doctor was negligent then you have to file an expert affidavit (generally, from another Doctor, who is qualified as an expert in the field) that will say the doctor was negligent. You may want to contact an attorney and have them review the file and see if there is anything there. Our firm has nurse consultants that we use to determine if the case needs to be investigated more.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 1/31/2012
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A.
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A. | Christopher J. Roberts
    It is possible that an error was made, and if so suit would be possible. Like any other profession, doctors are not liable merely because things go wrong. It is necessary to prove that the doctor's treatment fell below the standard of care in the profession, and that the negligence caused tangible injury. If you have reason to believe that the doctor made an avoidable mistake and that serious injury resulted, you should talk to a lawyer in your area.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 2/17/2012
    Downriver Injury and Auto Law | Michael Heilmann
    Medical Malpractice cases are very difficult and there has to be a bright line between negligence and the liability of the surgeon. You have not provided enough information to establish negligence. There is a two year statute of limitations.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 1/31/2012
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
    In order to prove a medical malpractice case, a claimant must prove a failure to conform to accepted practice, resulting in an injury. A bad result is not enough, and if it is a "judgment call" by the doctor, there is no malpractice, even if the doctor made the wrong call. In order to determine whether there was malpractice here, you will need to get a complete set of medical records and have them reviewed by a doctor in that specialty.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 1/31/2012
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    You can always sue. The problem is: can you prove your case? Was there an equipment failure as you suggest? If so, did that failure cause the liver to fail? Or would the liver have failed anyway? You need a doctor to review your chart in full and answer those questions. You can't start a malpractice case or hospital products case without a medical opinion that supports your position.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 1/31/2012
    Colling Gilbert Wright & Carter | Melvin B. Wright
    Simple answer is yes. But only if an expert medical review by your attorney's team or a medical expert your hire find the standard of care was not met and that it caused liver failure.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 1/31/2012
    Attorney at Law | Ernest Krause
    Certainly the person can sue. It is called medical malpractice. Certain lawyers specialize in representing people with claims against doctors. Look for a medical malpractice plaintiffs attorney on the internet and in the Yellow Pages. It is very expensive to do those cases so the lawyers take only ones with really serious injuries.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/31/2012
    Paris Blank LLP
    Paris Blank LLP | Irving M Blank
    Only if you have a Dr. who will give you a written pinion that negligence was committed by the treating physician. This is a complicated area of the law and you need an experienced attorney to make a valid claim.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 1/31/2012
    Shaw Law Firm
    Shaw Law Firm | Steven L. Shaw
    Medical malpractice is a highly specialized area of the law, and your question needs more details in order to determine if the doctor met the standard of care. I suggest calling an attorney with medical malpractice experience.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 1/31/2012
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