What Are Some Examples of Spinal Fusion Lawsuits?

What Are Some Examples of Spinal Fusion Lawsuits?

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What Are Some Examples of Spinal Fusion Lawsuits?

As one of the most elaborate types of surgery, spinal fusion permanently connects two or more vertebrae located along the spinal column. The purpose of the surgery is to prevent the impacted vertebrae from moving. Spinal fusion works like the typical healing process of fractured bones, but the surgery dramatically speeds up recovery. During surgery, a surgeon places a bone or a substance that imitates the structure of a bone within the space that has developed between two or more vertebrae. Rods, screws, or metal plates hold the vertebrae together until they heal to produce a stable spinal column.

Because of the complexity of the surgery, some spinal fusions do not end well for patients. If you suffer from the complications generated by an unsuccessful spinal fusion surgery, you might have a strong enough case to file a spinal fusion lawsuit. As a type of medical malpractice, a spinal fusion lawsuit can develop for many different reasons. We will take a look at some of the most common examples of why patients take legal action for botched spinal fusion surgery.

The consequences of an unsuccessful spinal fusion procedure can stay with you for the rest of your life. You might feel constant pain, especially when you walk or bend over to pick something up. The negative impact can spill over to your career, especially if your job requires a considerable amount of physical labor. At Morgan & Morgan, we have helped clients recover more than $10 billion in monetary damages for personal injury lawsuits since we opened our doors in 1988. Our experienced team of medical malpractice attorneys can help you receive the compensation you deserve because of negligence.

Schedule a free case evaluation with one of our medical malpractice lawyers to determine how to proceed with your case.

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  • When Is Spinal Fusion Surgery Necessary?

    One example of a spinal fusion lawsuit involves a physician recommending the surgery when a patient does not need it. Physicians recommend spinal fusion surgery when correcting a deformity of one or more vertebrae and/or to mitigate back pain. Deformities of the spine include one or more vertebrae curving sideways, which applies pressure on the spinal column. Another reason to recommend spinal fusion surgery is when a patient experiences weakness or instability in a section of the spinal column. This is a common symptom for someone suffering from acute arthritis. Finally, spinal fusion surgery represents an effective medical procedure to repair the damage caused by a herniated disc.

  • What Are the Risks Associated With Spinal Fusion Surgery?

    According to the Mayo Clinic, spinal fusion surgery is associated with several risks. Many of the risks are linked to a surgical error caused by negligence. A patient might develop an infection after the surgery and if not detected, can morph into a life-threatening medical condition. Improper cleansing of an entry wound can lead to poor healing of the wound, as well as the potential for severe bleeding. On the other hand, implanting the wrong surgical technique might produce blood clots that if large enough, restrict the flow of blood throughout the body. The delicate surgery has the potential to rupture the nerves and/or blood vessels surrounding the spine. Perhaps the most significant risk of undergoing spinal fusion surgery is the possibility that a patient might experience long-term chronic pain.

  • What Are the Common Examples of a Spinal Fusion Lawsuit?

    Although the medical malpractice lawyer assigned to you by Morgan & Morgan must prove negligence, your legal counsel also has to determine what example of negligence applies to your case.

    Surgical Error

    Proving surgical error requires an answer to the question, “Would a competent surgeon in the same role make the same surgical error.” For example, a surgeon who accidentally cut into nerves might not be guilty of negligence if other surgeons would have done the same thing. A jury hearing a spinal injury lawsuit has to determine whether the defendant is incompetent or committed a surgical error other competent surgeons would have made.

    Did Not Consider an Alternative Treatment

    After diagnosing a spinal column issue, a medical practitioner recommends the type of medical procedure to correct the healthcare problem. If a physician-diagnosed unstable vertebrae, there might be alternative ways to heal the area of the spine where the instability developed. Spinal surgeries trigger intense debates among certified surgeons because of the high risks associated with sensitive medical procedures. You might have a persuasive negligence argument if a medical practitioner recommended spinal fusion surgery when the recommendation should have called for another type of medical procedure.

    Lack of Information

    Ultimately, deciding to go ahead with spinal fusion surgery is up to the patient, who bases a decision on the information provided by the medical practitioner who diagnoses instability along the spine. Sometimes, patients do not receive all the information they should receive when making an educated decision about spinal fusion surgery. Some spinal fusion lawsuits seek monetary damages because a medical practitioner did not provide a patient with information concerning the risks involved with the medical procedure.

    Incorrect or Lack of a Diagnosis

    The most fundamental example of filing a spinal fusion lawsuit concerns incompetence during the diagnostic process. Perhaps you did not receive an accurate diagnosis, which can include a medical practitioner incorrectly declaring you have two or more vertebrae that require a spinal fusion. Another form of incompetence occurs when a physician fails to make a diagnosis at all. For a spinal column issue, the medical practitioner issuing the diagnosis might not have noticed the compromised vertebrae while conducting a CT scan. Making an incorrect diagnosis or not making one at all can lead to lifelong back pain and other significant medical complications.

    Inability to Prevent the Development of Infections

    Let’s assume your spinal fusion surgery appears to have gone well, without any major medical complications. However, all might not be as well as it seems because you start to develop infections, which have caused you to suffer from additional healthcare issues. Many of the infections that develop turn into what medical practitioners refer to as “superbugs” that resist antibiotics. Some infections that develop after spinal fusion surgery might be the result of negligence, such as unsanitary surgical conditions and medical implements.

  • How Do I File a Spinal Fusion Lawsuit?

    The first step for filing a spinal fusion lawsuit is to contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney. Although you might be able to receive just compensation for another type of personal injury case on your own, filing a medical malpractice lawsuit requires the legal support of a highly-rated litigator. There is too much at stake for you to settle for an inexperienced and/or poorly trained personal injury lawyer.

    After you hire an experienced spinal fusion attorney, your legal counsel guides you through the remaining steps for filing a spinal fusion lawsuit.

    Contact the Healthcare Provider

    One of the most important reasons for hiring a state-licensed medical malpractice lawyer is to have a litigator act as an intermediary between you and the other parties involved in your case. As the first party your legal counsel contacts, the healthcare facility where you underwent spinal fusion surgery must answer your claim of negligence. Reaching out to the healthcare provider might lead to a resolution of your case before it reaches the trial phase of the litigation process.

    Speak With a Representative From the Appropriate Medical Licensing Board

    If reaching out to the healthcare provider does not result in a satisfactory conclusion to your case, your legal counsel contacts the medical licensing board that oversees the performance of the surgeon or surgeons that operated on you during spinal fusion surgery. Although the appropriate medical licensing board cannot force the healthcare provider to compensate you, the medical licensing board can discipline the healthcare provider, which includes revoking the medical license of the surgeon who performed the spinal fusion surgery on you.\

    Acquire and Organize Your Medical Records

    An experienced medical malpractice attorney knows which medical records present the most convincing evidence of medical negligence. The results of diagnostic tests coupled with a detailed description of the surgical procedure performed on you might indicate one or more acts of medical negligence. Obtaining your medical records on your own can lead to the healthcare provider stalling, which is another reason to hire a medical malpractice lawyer who has developed a reputation for getting clients the compensation they deserve. Your legal counsel applies pressure on the healthcare provider to release your medical records.

    Notify Your Insurance Company

    Acting as an intermediary between you and your insurance company, your medical malpractice lawyer helps you file a compelling claim. Your legal counsel prevents the standard stonewalling tactics used by many insurance companies, as well as interacts with an insurance adjuster directly to ensure your claim receives the attention required to make an informed decision. Do not contact your insurance company until you meet with one of our medical malpractice litigators during a free case evaluation.

    Get a Second Opinion

    Although your medical records represent powerful evidence of negligence, getting a second opinion from a properly licensed and credentialed healthcare provider can help you receive monetary damages. The second opinion can come from a healthcare provider you know or from the suggestion of a medical malpractice attorney from Morgan & Morgan. A growing number of states require patients to file a “certificate of intent” before filing a medical malpractice lawsuit.

    Negotiate a Settlement

    During the discovery phase of a civil trial, both parties meet to exchange evidence and the statements made by witnesses. The sharing of information encourages both parties to negotiate a favorable settlement, which means you do not have to go through a costly and time-consuming civil trial. However, if the attorney who we assign to represent you during a spinal fusion lawsuit cannot reach a settlement agreement with the other party, your legal counsel will not hesitate to take your case to trial.

    Go to Trial

    Taking your spinal fusion lawsuit to trial represents the last step of the litigation process. This step requires legal representation by an experienced medical malpractice attorney who understands how to make the strongest case possible for just compensation.

  • Get Legal Support From an Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorney

    The primary goal of filing a spinal fusion lawsuit is to help you recover from the financial losses caused by medical negligence. You have the right to ask for economic damages that include medical expenses and lost wages. As a victim of medical negligence, you also have the right to cover the costs associated with pain and suffering. The jury hearing your case might award you punitive damages, which punish the defendant for committing one or more acts of medical malpractice.

    Schedule a free case evaluation today to get more information and take your first steps toward recovery.

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