Most patients who have undergone anesthesia or taken certain medications have limited mobility. For this reason, doctors and other hospital staff have an obligation to reduce their fall risk while they recover from the operation. Failing to do so could result in broken bones, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, or other serious injuries.
When a doctor or other medical professional acts in a negligent manner during your postoperative recovery and this causes you to suffer injuries, you may have a valid medical malpractice claim under Pennsylvania law. A postoperative fall after surgery lawyer in Pittsburgh, PA, can determine if you qualify for damages.
Contact the medical malpractice lawyers from Berger and Green for help understanding if you have a valid case against your doctor. A member of our legal team will review your case for free. Call us today at 412-661-1400 to get started.
Damages Available for a Postoperative Fall After Surgery in Pittsburgh
Injuries suffered in a postoperative fall can be devastating. Broken legs and hips limit future mobility, and brain injuries can affect cognitive abilities. Neck and back injuries could leave you requiring ongoing care for the rest of your life. When we handle a medical malpractice case, our goal is to recover compensation that covers your full range of expenses and losses. While damages differ from case to case, we may be able to recover money for your:
- Medical care;
- Ongoing care, such as home health care;
- Inpatient rehabilitation;
- Outpatient physical therapy;
- Lost wages and future lost income;
- Out-of-pocket expenses related to your injury;
- Mobility aids, such as walker or wheelchairs, if required; and
- Pain and suffering damages.
Understanding the Standard of Care
According to the American Journal of Surgery, almost 2 percent of patients suffer a postoperative fall. The study looked at 9,625 patients who underwent inpatient surgical procedures during a five-year period. This is such a serious problem that most hospitals have strict fall prevention protocols in place.
Doctors and other health care providers have a duty to provide the proper standard of care to all patients. This includes preventing falls whenever possible. Failing to provide this standard of care could constitute malpractice. To determine if your doctor violated the standard of care, we will enlist the help of an expert with the same level of education and similar experience, who practices in the same geographic area.
Most doctors and health care facilities implement fall prevention measures that include:
- Fall risk assessments;
- A way to quickly identify patients who are at an increased risk of falls;
- Guidelines on communicating fall risks to staff;
- Methods for educating the patient and their visitors about techniques to minimize fall risk;
- Non-skid socks or similar items;
- Regular rounds by nursing staff to assist patients at an increased risk of falls; and
- Protocols in place that prevent patients from trying to walk too soon after surgery.
If your doctor did not follow proper hospital protocol, or the hospital did not have an adequate protocol in place, you may have a valid claim. We can evaluate your situation and explain if we believe you could win compensation based on your damages.
Filing a Claim Based on a Postoperative Fall
If you believe you may have a medical negligence claim, give us a call. We can apply our knowledge and experience of this type of claim to determine if your situation warrants a full investigation.
If we determine you may have a viable medical malpractice case, we can reach out to our network of medical expert witnesses to find the one who can best testify to the acceptable standard of care in your case. This expert will likely be a doctor or surgeon who has the same training, background, and experience as the doctor who treated you. The expert will review the facts of your case, explain the expected standard of care based on the information we provide, and offer their opinion whether or not your doctor deviated from this standard of care.
If the medical expert witness agrees we have a valid case, they can help us explain the errors in your treatment and how the doctor could have prevented your fall to a judge and jury. In most medical malpractice cases, the testimony of this expert is central to convincing the jury negligence played a role in your injuries.
Once we have a solid case, we can approach the doctor or hospital and file a claim based on their medical malpractice insurance. In some cases, they will settle these claims out of court. In other instances, we need to file a lawsuit to fight for the compensation you deserve.
Time Limits on Filing a Medical Malpractice Action in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations gives you two years from the date of your fall to file a lawsuit based on your injuries. It is important to take action before this deadline passes. The court will likely dismiss your case if you file suit after the statute of limitations expires. If you contact us as soon as possible after your fall, we can ensure you meet this deadline, and retain the right to hold the doctor accountable for their negligence.
Contact a Postoperative Fall After Surgery Lawyer in Pittsburgh, PA.
The legal team from Berger and Green can help you understand the strength of your case against the doctor, health care professional, or hospital that allowed your postoperative fall. We can explain if we believe you have a valid case, and help you pursue compensation to cover your damages. Call 412-661-1400 today for a free case review.