5 Things to Know About Eye Surgery Medical Malpractice
As you get older, you might develop vision trouble. Some people even deal with it from a very young age. If you can't see very well, that makes your life difficult, so you need to do what you can to fix the problem.
You may be able to wear glasses or contacts. You also may look into eye surgery. Several varieties exist that might be able to help you and restore or improve your vision.
However, sometimes, eye surgery goes wrong. When that happens, you might look into whether the legal system would consider what happened to be medical malpractice.
Eye surgery medical malpractice can be a tricky area. Here are a few things about it that you should know.
The Doctor Must Meet the Required Care Standard
With eye surgery medical malpractice, if you have a case, you will have to prove that the doctor did not meet the care standard. You may need to retain a lawyer to figure that out, or at least talk to one. The care standard:
Is what the medical field dictates should normally happen
Might vary depending on the setting
If you're going to establish that a doctor did not care for you as they should have, you'll need to think about whether you got the procedure in a rural clinic versus a state-of-the-art big-city hospital. In the rural clinic, the care standard might be slightly different than what you could expect in the country's best eye surgery clinic.
The care standard should not vary too much, though. A trained ophthalmologist will presumably operate on your eyes, and they should know what they're doing. If they make an obvious mistake that makes your vision worse, you should be able to hold them liable for that.
There Are Multiple Eye Surgery Medical Malpractice Examples
There are several things the legal system might consider eye surgery medical malpractice. They might include:
An informed consent lack
The eye is a sensitive body part. The legal system might consider it to be medical malpractice if the surgeon or their team infects your eye or eyes. This might happen if they do not sterilize their tools properly before the operation.
The doctor must tell you about the inherent risks before they operate. If they do not do so, and they harm you, that might be an informed consent lack.
The doctor might also misdiagnose your eye condition. They may say something is going on with your eyes that is not the case, and they need to operate because of it. If something goes wrong, and it was unnecessary surgery, that is certainly a possible medical malpractice situation.
A surgical error is one more medical malpractice possibility. Maybe the doctor operates on the wrong eye or uses a surgical implement and does damage.
There Are Several Possible Eye Surgery Medical Malpractice Outcomes
You should also understand that there are several potential eye surgery medical malpractice outcomes, and none of them are good. For instance, you might have to deal with partial or total blindness. You may have permanently blurry vision or increased light sensitivity.
A color detection lack is another possibility. If this occurs, you may not be able to drive anymore since you will not be able to tell traffic light colors.
You might have impaired depth perception or tunnel vision. Depending on the damage extent, your life might not ever be the same afterward. You may not be able to get around on your own, and you might need to get a seeing-eye dog.
You may have to retrofit your house to help you in your daily routine. You may not be able to continue with your career, and you may have to retire years before you wanted to.
There Are Several Possible Roadblocks if You Want to Take the Doctor to Court
If you do get together with a lawyer, and you determine that you may have a medical malpractice case, there are some potential obstacles about which you should know. You will probably have to obtain expert medical opinions that indicate you have valid lawsuit grounds.
You will have to tell the medical provider you plan on suing them. This is so they can begin to prepare their defense. You will also probably have to give a medical review board your claim. Based on the physical and anecdotal evidence, they will decide whether it has merit.
You may also have to go through some mandatory pre-lawsuit mediation.
There Are Multiple Potential Trial Outcomes
The other thing to realize is that even if you determine that you have grounds to move forward, the lawsuit process can be long and complex, and there is no guarantee about how it will turn out.
You can look to recover medical expenses, such as medication and therapy appointment costs, additional surgery costs, hospitalization costs, etc. You can try to recoup the money that you needed to spend retrofitting your home, hiring extra help, or getting a service animal. You can look into lost income reimbursement as well.
You might try to get more money for pain and suffering. Your may have diminished life and relationship quality, and the doctor should pay for that. You might even look for punitive damages if you feel that the doctor acted in an extraordinarily reckless fashion.
Your lawyer will help you, but they can't guarantee the case's outcome, which is why it is safest if you can pay them on a contingency basis. That way, you won't end up with less money than when you started if you lose.
If the doctor sees that the trial is going badly, they may settle with you. They may even settle before the trial if they don't think they can win, and they want to smooth things over as quietly and quickly as possible.
However, it's also feasible that the doctor will want to fight till the end since their reputation is on the line.