Orthopaedic Surgeons are specialists in the treatment of bone, muscle, and joint complications. They are responsible for repairing bone fractures, joint dislocations, spinal disks, fusing joints, and performing ligament reconstructive surgery, and removing large joints such as the hip, knee, and/or ankle.
When medical errors occur during the preparation and execution of orthopaedic surgery, the patient can suffer severe consequences such as paralysis, nerve damage, and massive joint failure.
A doctor can miss a fracture, causing needless pain and possibly permanent damages.
What Could Go Wrong During Orthopaedic Surgery?
If you or a loved one requires orthopaedic surgery due to an acute injury such as a hip, ankle, or leg fracture, or a chronic (long-term) disorder that necessitates a knee or hip replacement, the following healthcare providers will almost certainly be involved:
• Orthopaedic surgeon
• Orthopaedic surgeon’s assistant
• Staff working in the orthopaedic surgeon’s office
• Cardiologist clearing surgery
• Post-operation personnel
• Physical and occupational therapists
• Wound care nurses
• Home rehabilitation staff
So, what could possibly go wrong? The following is a list of some of the most recurring errors that could be made before, during, or after orthopaedic operation:
• Fracture caused by negligence, such as a fall or an inappropriate transfer in a hospital, nursing facility, or home.
• Surgery in the wrong place.
• Inaccurate anaesthesia. Not all orthopaedic operations need general anaesthesia; several can/should be performed with regional blocks.
• Negligent pre-operative diagnosis, such as failing to recognize a heart attack or other conditions, would put the patient at risk during surgery.
• Failure to stop the administration of blood-thinning medicine prior to surgery
• Using the wrong orthopaedic equipment, e.g., wrong size screw or rod.
• Nerve damage during the process of device placement.
• Inadequate post-operative DVT prevention.
• Complications arising from DVT medicine taken in excess. Xarelto, Coumadin, and Lovenox can cause internal bleeding if taken in large amounts.
• Failure of therapists to begin proper therapy as soon as possible.
• Therapists’ failure to obey physician orders on weight-bearing and non-weight bearing.
• Surgical site infection.
• Failure to detect or treat infections after surgery.
• Errors in medicine administration after surgery.
How to Diagnose An Orthopaedic Injury
An orthopaedic surgeon should be able to recognize and diagnose all musculoskeletal injuries resulting from an accident. This involves separating new injuries from age-related degenerative problems that the individual may have had prior to the accident and whose symptoms may have simply been exacerbated by the accident.
Although all orthopaedic surgeons are familiar with all aspects of the musculoskeletal system in general, many specialize in particular areas, such as:
• Ankle and foot
• Hands, arms, and elbows
Some orthopaedic surgeons specialize in areas like paediatrics, trauma, reconstructive surgery, and sports-related injuries.
Having a directory of orthopaedic specialists can be extremely useful when deciding how to respond to the injury, both in terms of immediate care and long-term consequences.
If you have an orthopaedic injury, your medical negligence solicitor will arrange for you to be seen by an expert before proceeding with other processes.
Claiming for Orthopaedic Injury Compensation
Making orthopaedic injury compensation claims needs prior consideration. Your good health and well-being should always be your top priority. Starting a claim can be a daunting task that could take a lot of your time and energy.
The main reason for filing medical negligence claims is to obtain compensation for any damages incurred as a result of the injury. This may include lost wages, depression, injuries, and suffering following orthopaedic medical malpractice. It may also be used to pay for any further medication or counselling needed to get your life back on track as much as possible.
Besides, a claim can also influence improvements in how things are done in the particular sector. If bad procedures or systems caused the accident, your case can be used to bring attention to these surgical errors and ensure that no one else suffers the same fate.
What is the Time Limit for Making an Orthopaedic Negligence Claim?
It is advisable to seek legal advice as soon as you believe you might have a solid claim. This increases the likelihood of your case succeeding. However, there is a deadline for filing a lawsuit.
Adults have two years from the date of negligence or two years from the “date of knowledge” of the negligence to file a claim. Although the effect may not be instantly apparent depending on when the orthopaedic medical negligence happened, it is often the case. As a result, the two-year cap can extend from when you first notice the signs, experience a significant injury, or discover evidence of malpractice.
If you’re not sure where you stand, medical negligence experts will help you figure it out. So, make that call, what have you got to lose?
The time limit for children begins on their 18th birthday, but they will have until the age of 20 to file a lawsuit. You can file a claim on their behalf at any time before that. Under the Mental Ability Act 2005, a claim can be made on behalf of an adult who lacks the capacity to do so themselves.
How Do You Prove that You Have Suffered an Orthopaedic Injury Due to Negligence?
If you believe you have been a victim of medical negligence or malpractice and wish to file a claim, there are a few measures you can take to ensure that your solicitors will properly plan your case. Here’s what you’ll need to know to put together a successful compensation case.
What kind of proof do I need?
Unfortunately, bringing an orthopaedic compensation claim is not as easy as pitting your word against the professional or company registered. As the claimant, you must demonstrate that you were the victim of medical negligence and that the injuries were caused solely by negligence and not by any other underlying circumstance. The following documentation will be required for you to make an orthopaedic claim:
1. Medical Records – They will need to be examined in depth by your solicitor and an independent specialist where you believe negligence occurred to report on the quality of treatment you received and whether any errors resulted in orthopaedic injuries. If the injuries recorded can be proven to be due to negligence, an expert will assess you to determine the seriousness of the injuries and if they can be considered life-changing injuries. This medical professional will analyse the condition before reporting on when you should expect to recover. All this information is essential before proceeding with any compensation claims.
2. Personal Statement – This statement should be comprehensive and must include, to the best of your knowledge, each step of your care as well as where you believe the error occurred. Your point would also emphasize the impact of your injury on your day-to-day life.
3. Witness Statements – If your colleagues at work, friends, or family have seen the effects of your injury first hand and can attest to its direct impact on your everyday life, their statements could be pivotal in getting a fair hearing.
How Long Does it Take For an Orthopaedic Injury Claim to be Settled?
The actual time taken for medical negligence claims to be settled depends on a myriad of factors.
It’s impossible to predict how long your claim will take, but on average, most claims are completed within two/three years. Our experienced medical negligence solicitors will keep you in the loop throughout the claim process.
Many orthopaedic claims can be resolved fairly easily. The strength of each claim is determined by the extent of the personal injury. A medical report could say that the injured person would need a year or more to attain full recovery, in which case the court would not want to rush the case.
Before settling any claim, it is important to know the full extent of the injuries and the prognosis for the future.
Your personal injury solicitor will keep the other side under pressure to file paperwork with the courts and respond to correspondence promptly. The latter would facilitate the expediting of the claim process.
Our law firm boasts a lot of experience dealing with orthopaedic injury claims. We follow a thorough examination process of the circumstances surrounding your specific injury before proceeding with your case. Together, we examine your chances of mounting a successful legal claim, secure the expert evidence that will be required to fully investigate and establish grounds for your claim, and guide you through the entire processes that are involved in filing an orthopaedic injury compensation claim.
Call us today with any questions you might have, and our team will be ready to answer.
Call us today 01903 6250 for any professional financial negligence claims in Ireland.