What Is a Surgical Error? 

Simply put, a surgical error is any medical mistake or deviation from the accepted standard of care that occurs before, during, or immediately after surgery. 

Some examples of surgical errors include: 

  • Unnecessary surgery 
  • Wrong-site surgery 
  • Operating on the wrong patient
  • Operating on the wrong body part 
  • Making an incision at the wrong site 
  • Accidental internal injury during surgery 
  • Leaving behind foreign objects, such as surgical instruments, in the body
  • Failure to obtain informed consent 
  • Anesthesia errors and other medication mistakes
  • Post-operative infections 
  • Improper follow-up and aftercare 
  • Failure to properly diagnose and/or treat post-operative complications

These and other surgical errors can occur for a variety of reasons, including poor communication, inexperience, overconfidence, misdiagnosis, alcohol or drug abuse, hospital malpractice, and general negligence. 

Legal Awards

Determining Whether You Have a Case 

Proving that you were the victim of medical malpractice can be very challenging. It is not enough to show that your medical condition did not improve after surgery, as not all surgeries are successful. Instead, you must prove that the medical provider against whom you are bringing the claim failed to uphold the accepted standard of care. 

Specifically, you must typically prove each of the following elements to have a valid surgical error claim or lawsuit: 

  • The defendant owed you a duty of care. This is typically proven by establishing that there was a patient-provider relationship between you and the defendant.
  • The defendant failed to uphold the accepted standard of care, typically by either doing something another qualified provider would not have done or failing to do something another qualified provider would have done in the same or similar circumstances. 
  • You were injured and/or suffered losses, or “damages,” related to your injuries. This includes both economic and non-economic damages, such as further medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost income, and more.
  • The defendant’s failure to provide an accepted standard of care was the direct or proximate cause of your injuries and resulting damages. 

At Curtis & Co., we know how to thoroughly investigate these claims to determine whether negligence or malpractice occurred. Our Albuquerque surgical error attorneys work with an in-house registered nurse and licensed physician, among other experts, to evaluate every client’s case. We are committed to providing you with our honest, straightforward opinions and advice regarding your case. If we believe that you have a valid claim, we will let you know. If we do not find evidence of malpractice, we will also inform you—and we will tell you what happened, even if your medical provider does not.

Who Is Liable for a Surgical Error? 

A successful surgery doesn’t start when the doctor covers your face with the anesthesia mask. Surgeries begin at your local doctor’s office, who should diagnose your possible condition correctly and refer you to a specialist to confirm it. The specialist will be responsible for conducting or ordering the proper exams and tests to confirm the medical condition. 

The surgeon will be the next important step in the process because he or she will be responsible for making key decisions about presurgical diet, medications, and necessary care to ensure the highest opportunity for success. Following surgery, the hospital has the responsibility to prevent infections and minimize other problems that can cause serious injury or death.

At any point in the process, a misdiagnosis, an error in judgment, a missed step, or improper medication can result in serious injury or death. In most cases, we can trust our medical team to get things right. However, if you suffered a medical injury or lost a loved one due to a suspected oversight or negligence on the part of a surgeon, physician, lab, hospital, or another medical provider, you may have a legitimate claim for a medical malpractice lawsuit.

If you were injured or lost a loved one before, during, or after surgery in a New Mexico hospital, call the Albuquerque surgery malpractice attorneys at Curtis & Co. right away. You have a limited time to file your lawsuit—typically only three years after the date on which the alleged malpractice occurred. In addition to the three-year statute of limitations, other important deadlines may apply. 

Put Decades of Combined Legal Experience on Your Side

We have over 40 years of combined experience investigating, negotiating, and settling claims, as well as winning trials in court. Our attorneys have successfully helped catastrophically injured victims and the families of fatal surgical error victims, aggressively advocating for the financial compensation they were owed and the justice they deserve. Whether you wish to bring a personal injury claim or a wrongful death lawsuit, you can rely on our team to fight for you every step of the way. 

By limiting our overall caseload, we provide every client with the personal attention, care, and support they need. At Curtis & Co., we treat every case like it is our only case. As a client, you can expect to receive frequent, fast communication and answers to all of your questions and concerns. If you cannot come to our offices in Albuquerque, we can make arrangements to meet with you at your home, a hospital room, or any other convenient location. 

Call us at (505) 871-3740 or submit an online contact form to request a free consultation with one of our Albuquerque surgical error attorneys. Hablamos español.

Curtis & Co. Curtis & Co.
You are passionate, persistent, and from everything that I saw today, a brilliant lawyer and orator.

What Sets Us Apart:

  • 25 Years of Experience
    Founding Attorney Lisa K. Curtis has pursued law since the young age of 6. This is all we've ever wanted to do, and we've done it well for decades.
  • Treating Clients Like Family
    We're a smaller firm so we can give our clients the focus and attention they deserve. You've been wronged, and we stop at nothing to make it right.
  • Compassionate, Capable Advocates
    We know how difficult it is not only to experience the injustice you did, but to be brave enough to move forward. We're here with you every single step of the way.
  • Committed to the Well-Being of New Mexico
    New Mexico is and always has been our home and chief priority. Our families go back centuries here, and we look to better this community with every move we make.

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