Can I Sue for Nerve Damage Caused During Surgery?
A patient can sue for nerve damage caused during surgery if the surgeon’s negligence was the reason for the injury. Nerve damage is a common medical malpractice claim and a high-risk associated with surgery because of how closely surgeons work in proximity to the body’s nerves.
All medical professionals, including surgeons, owe their patients a duty of care and are obligated to provide their patients with the standard of care deemed appropriate by their specialty or profession. When a surgeon falls below that standard of care, they are acting negligently.
What Is Nerve Damage?
Nerve damage, also known as peripheral neuropathy, can occur when a surgeon fails to detect the presence of a nerve during an operation and cuts or otherwise damages a nerve. Nerve damage affects the body’s ability to relay messages from the central nervous system to various body parts.
Signs and symptoms of surgical nerve damage include the following:
- Burning sensations;
- Tingling or numbness in the extremities;
- Loss of feeling;
- Loss of sight;
- Sharp pains in the affected area;
- Sexual dysfunction;
- Bowel or bladder incontinence;
- Regularly dropping things;
- Muscle atrophy;
- Complete paralysis or partial paralysis;
- Cold feeling in the legs or arms;
- Legs or arms feel heavy; and
- Difficulty in lifting the foot or toes.
Potential Causes of Nerve Damage
Every surgery comes with risks. However, if a patient’s nerve damage was as a result of negligence, it is their legal right to hold their surgeon responsible for any resulting losses.
Potential causes of surgical nerve damage may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Poorly administered anesthesia;
- Poorly performed an extraction of blood samples via needles;
- Hernia surgery, where there could be damage to the inguinal and genitofemoral nerves;
- Severed nerves during knee replacement surgery;
- Incorrect use of medical tools such as surgical retractors and tourniquets;
- Failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis certain degenerative health conditions related to the nervous system;
- Nerve damage caused by a scalpel;
- Inflammation of the surrounding tissue due to incorrect use of surgical equipment;
- Applying excessive force on the nerve during surgery; and
- Incorrect positioning of patients during surgery.
Making a Successful Nerve Damage Claim
To make a successful nerve damage claim against a surgeon, a patient and their Phoenix medical malpractice attorney must present a strong medical negligence case.
Showing medical negligence requires an attorney to prove:
- The surgeon or doctor owed the patient a duty of care;
- The surgeon or doctor breached their duty of care to the patient;
- That breach in duty of care was the direct cause of the patient’s injuries; and
- The patient incurred financial losses and other damages physically, psychologically and otherwise as a result of the breach.
An Experienced Phoenix Medical Malpractice Attorney Can Help
If you think that the nerve injury you or your loved one suffered was caused by a surgeon’s negligence, contact the medical malpractice attorneys at Knapp & Roberts today for an assessment of your claim. We understand that no amount of money can make up for the pain and suffering caused by a surgeon’s error, but compensation can help alleviate the financial strain caused by your injuries.
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The personal injury attorneys in Phoenix, Arizona at Knapp & Roberts have the compassion and trial lawyer skills to tell your story to a jury. We will get to know you and your family so that we can help the jury understand what has happened to you and your family and how it has changed your lives. Obtain the compensation necessary for the injuries and losses you have suffered.