Medical Malpractice & Elective Procedures

Written by Atlee Hall

Elective surgeries are a type of medical intervention that is not considered a health emergency, nor is it required to keep the person alive. Although many elective surgeries are cosmetic, certain elective procedures can be used to change an injury victim’s life for the better after being injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence.

In any case, when a health care provider’s negligence or misconduct causes further injury or illness during an elective or cosmetic procedure, you may wonder what legal options are available to you. Fortunately, you may have the right to totally recover your damages.

What Are Elective Procedures?

Elective procedures are virtually any type of surgery or medical intervention that is not necessary to keep a person healthy or alive. However, that does not mean they cannot provide valuable benefits for your physical and emotional health. Examples of such elective surgeries and procedures could include:

  • Rhinoplasty
  • Botox, a.k.a. botulinum toxin shots
  • Buttock augmentation
  • Breast augmentation
  • Facelifts
  • Labiaplasty
  • Dermal fillers
  • Laser hair removal
  • Liposuction
  • Eye surgery
  • Microdermabrasion
  • Chemical peels

Can You Sue for Medical Malpractice in an Elective Procedure?

Multiple types of medical errors could be made during elective procedures. Any time your health care provider’s negligence causes an error, you can hold them accountable. Some of the more common types of medical errors that are seen in elective procedures include:

  • Disfigurement
  • Long-term effects of anesthesia
  • Excessive blood loss
  • Brain damage
  • Infection or sepsis
  • Blood clotting
  • Oxygen deprivation
  • Medication errors

Your Legal Options for Elective Procedure Complications

When you have suffered complications due to your health care provider’s negligence in an elective procedure, there are multiple options that may be available to you. In some instances, you may be able to pursue a medical malpractice insurance claim. You might file a claim with your health care provider’s medical malpractice insurance provider to recover certain types of losses. This might include filing a claim against the hospital or facility where you had your elective procedure.

However, many insurance claims are not enough to fully cover a victim’s damages. They may only cover certain types and amounts of losses. If you hope to get your damages recovered in their entirety, bringing your medical malpractice case to court may be in your best interests. Here, you are not limited by the restrictions of an insurance policy and can instead seek restitution for every single way your life has been affected by your health care provider’s negligence or misconduct.

Proving Negligence in Your Medical Malpractice Claim

To prove negligence and liability, your medical malpractice attorney must show that your health care provider owed you a duty of care and breached that duty of care in some way. Generally, any time a health care provider makes a decision that another reasonable provider would not have made, that health care provider can be found negligent. We will also need to show causation. This means we need to demonstrate how your health care provider’s negligence was the cause of your injuries.

Furthermore, your attorney will need to introduce evidence that shows how your life has been affected by your health care provider’s negligence. This may include any permanent scarring you are dealing with, continued surgeries to correct the health care provider’s mistakes, lost wages, and more. You can expect your medical malpractice lawyer to thoroughly investigate your elective surgery to gather the evidence needed to support your case.

How Long Do You Have to File a Claim?

According to the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes Title 42, Chapter 55, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice lawsuits is just two years. Generally, this two-year expiration date will begin from the day you should have known or learned of your health care provider’s medical mistake.

If you are unsure how long you have to get your claim filed, discuss your concerns with your medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible. Otherwise, you could be at risk of losing the opportunity to have your case heard in the Pennsylvania civil court system.

Possible Damages for Medical Malpractice

Various damages may be recovered following complications and injuries from elective surgery. Your attorney will need to consider the lasting impact injuries could have on your life as we calculate the value of your claim.

However, you have the right to compensation for losses that are both monetary and non-monetary in nature. Examples of damages that may be awarded in a medical malpractice lawsuit include the following:

  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Diminished quality of life
  • Lost income and earning capacity
  • Inconvenience and embarrassment
  • Shock, fear, and anticipation
  • Reputational damages
  • Additional medical expenses, including revisions and ongoing medical care
  • Costs of future medical expenses related to your injuries
  • Reduced earning potential

These are only a few damages that may be recovered in a medical malpractice lawsuit caused by mistakes made during elective surgery. If you are interested in learning more about how much your case could be worth, do not hesitate to contact our team to discuss your damages in further detail.

Meet with a Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Pennsylvania Today

When your health care provider’s misconduct, medical error, or negligence is the cause of your worsening health condition after going in for an elective procedure, you can still hold them accountable for their actions.

Reach out to an experienced Lancaster medical malpractice lawyer at Atlee Hall for a free consultation today and learn more about your next steps. To schedule, you can reach us by phone at (717) 393-9596 or through our quick contact form.