Statistics show that at least 75 percent of Americans will experience foot problems at some point in their lives. Some of these problems require surgery. While some surgical procedures are successful, some go horribly wrong, leaving many patients wondering whether they can sue for faulty foot surgery.
The direct answer to this question is yes. However, it all depends on various factors, which we'll discuss later in this article.
But first things first, let's take a look at some important statistics about foot surgery malpractice.
A study evaluated various cases of foot surgery malpractice lawsuits over a 13-year period. The study concluded that 76.4 percent of the 72 cases analyzed were filed against podiatrists and about 15.3 percent against orthopedic surgeons.
Approximately 94.5 percent of the lawsuits filed against podiatrists cited elective surgery. Additionally, 41.8 percent of the cases were due to persistent pain, while 27.3 percent cited deformation.
The research further discovered that 45.5 percent of the lawsuits blamed failing to treat various foot-related problems. Lastly, 27.3 percent cited inappropriate surgical procedures. From these statistics, it's logical to conclude that foot surgery can lead to serious injuries.
As a result, some individuals leave the surgical room with even worse pain and discomfort than before. When that happens, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit, especially if there's reason to believe that the individuals responsible for performing the faulty surgery acted negligently.
Cases of faulty foot surgery usually fall under medical malpractice. For this reason, it's always advisable to hire a medical malpractice attorney if you believe someone acted negligently and caused you harm during or even before the surgery.
We'll discuss the importance of hiring such an attorney a little bit later. But, for now, let's discuss medical malpractice and why it's not the easiest of cases to prove.
Medical Malpractice Explained
Medical malpractice is a term that describes professional negligence by a health care provider, leading to substandard treatment or injury to a patient. However, proving negligence is one of the most difficult things to do. As a result, many victims of medical malpractice never receive the compensation they deserve, even with the presence of visible injuries caused by a negligent healthcare provider.
This is because there are so many technicalities involved when defining medical malpractice. Sometimes, the medical malpractice definitions and laws vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, making it even more difficult but not impossible to define this term from the legal perspective.
Additionally, thousands of medical malpractice claims are filed in the United States every year. These claims usually involve huge sums of money as compensation. As a result, many insurance companies pump up their premiums for medical providers.
In an attempt to lower the premiums healthcare providers pay insurance companies to protect themselves against medical malpractice cases, some states have made it much more difficult for malpractice victims to hold the negligent party responsible. For example, if you or your loved one has gone through a faulty foot surgery warranting a lawsuit, you may have a rough time trying to sue the negligent party. It's even more difficult to win the case if you don't have a medical malpractice attorney representing you.
Depending on the state, your medical malpractice attorney may be required to:
- certify that they have conducted a pre-lawsuit investigation;
- confirm that an existing law supports the claim;
- provide certifications from medical experts confirming the validity of the claim;
- give the defense advance notice of the medical malpractice claim;
- participate or cooperate in any investigation the defense conducts regarding the claim;
- pursue an out-of-court settlement before filing a lawsuit, and;
- present their claim to a malpractice review board to seek permission to proceed with the lawsuit in court.
The bottom line is, it can be frustrating and exhausting to prove medical malpractice. This explains why most victims of faulty foot surgery seek the help of an experienced medical malpractice attorney to evaluate their options and create the best legal strategy.