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Botched hip replacement: Should you sue?

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(© Georgiy – stock.adobe.com)

During hip replacement surgery, both doctor and patient are at risk. Surgeons do their best to ensure a safe and successful surgery. However, they are fallible human beings, and there are no guarantees. Sometimes complications arise, and the surgeon is not able to handle them properly.

When a surgery goes wrong, surgeons face the possibility of a lawsuit. They also face the wrath and/or grief of the patient or that of their family.

If you or someone you know faces a medical problem after surgery, it may be the result of a surgical error. If that is the case, you have the right to file a medical malpractice claim.

What can make your lawsuit fail?

You must understand that when surgery doesn’t go to plan, the surgeon is not necessarily at fault. Even routine surgeries can become complicated due to factors beyond the surgeon’s control. A qualified medical malpractice lawyer will investigate the situation and advise you whether you have a solid case or not.

Pursuing a case when surgery didn’t get the expected results without any evidence of a surgical error will likely fail.

What happens during hip surgery?

In standard hip surgery, the top part of the femur is removed along with the damaged cartilage. Then a metal stem is inserted into the femur and cemented into place.

The insertion of a metal socket into the hip bone occurs, then they are fitted together. That highlights how complicated and difficult hip surgery is. The doctors also have to be extra careful to avoid mistakes because a poorly performed hip surgery can result in permanent disability.

The positive side is that if it’s correctly undertaken, a patient can once again walk without difficulty. Recovery times can be quite long, in some cases up to a year. However, if successful, walking and even running will once again be possible.

Many people opt for hip replacement because it relieves them from pain and further degeneration of the femur and hip. Despite being careful when undertaking the process, the doctors are not immune to making surgical mistakes that result in a claim by the patient.

Signs of a botched hip replacement surgery

Below are some of the medical signs that will show you that things aren’t right:

  • Pain in the leg that lasts longer than normal
  • Infection, e.g., infection on one of the legs
  • One leg being shorter than the other
  • Foreign objects left inside the body

Some of these may mean that you have a case, while others will essentially guarantee you a victory.

What you need to show in a medical malpractice claim

After noting the above signs, you can file the botched hip replacement surgery claim. Before then, you must know the aspects that will make your claim relevant. People have lost their cases against doctors because they failed to show the relevance of their claims.

Show the relationship

Before the surgery begins, you must provide the doctor with the information to guide them into knowing the appropriate steps to take. After that, the doctor demonstrates a duty of care. Therefore, show that you had a relationship with the doctor before the surgery took place.

Breach

Once there is a doctor-patient relationship, the doctor must exercise their duty diligently to help ensure a positive outcome. If the surgeon fails to do so, they have breached the relationship.

Injury

Show the injury resulted from the doctor’s negligence. Provide any images and any other supporting documentation to your claim.

Damages caused

Show that you incurred losses that were economical and non-economical. Highlight the vital productive activities you have missed, e.g., work, business, etc.

After showing the above, find the right attorney to represent you. In cases where several claimants are filing similar lawsuits against the same doctor or hospital, mass tort allows these people to consolidate their individual grievances into a single case. A competent lawyer can advise you on what options are best for you.

Story by Michelle Eddy. She is a staunch consumer advocate, fresh libertarian convert, and proud mother of three. Besides her legal career, she enjoys blogging about topics related to her expertise and life experiences, like parenting, child development, education, and law. In her writings, Michelle places emphasis on helping people to fight for their rights. She also works as a collaborative editor for Laborde Earles Law Firm. Her favorite quote is: “Sir, we are outnumbered 10 to 1″. “Then, it is a fair fight”.


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