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Gain valuable insight into the merits of your case by examining the standard of care in an eye surgery malpractice lawsuit.
The simple definition of the standard of care is the average level of care that would be expected from a similar doctor in the same situation.
If the doctor involved in the lawsuit performed significantly worse than expected, they did not meet the standard of care and could be liable in a medical malpractice lawsuit.
- The medical standard of care depends on state law and the unique facts of each case.
- Misdiagnoses and surgical errors often lead to Lasik malpractice cases.
- Most eye operation malpractice cases settle rather than go to trial.
Standard of Care in an Eye Surgery Malpractice Lawsuit
The standard of care in an eye surgery malpractice lawsuit will depend on established state case law and the unique circumstances of the case .
Many courts have adopted either minimal or reasonable competence as the initial threshold for meeting the standard of care.
Some of the factors that help courts determine the standard of care for an eye operation malpractice case include:
- Location of the surgery
- Availability of modern treatment options
- Level of emergency
- Local infrastructure
- Technological advancements
An expert witness from the medical community will assist the court in determining the standard of care on a case-by-case basis.
Eye Surgery Medical Malpractice Examples
Valid ophthalmology malpractice claims can arise from a wide variety of different medical mistakes. These are some of the most common eye operation medical malpractice examples.
Deficient Informed Consent
Eye surgeons must give patients advance notice of eye surgery’s potential complications during preoperative discussions.
Failure to explain the risks involved and alternative treatments before surgery could lead to a medical malpractice case if surgery results in an injured patient.
Another common basis for a malpractice claim involves a misdiagnosis by an eye doctor during the initial consultation .
Failure to review a patient’s medical records or perform the necessary tests can lead to a misdiagnosis, unnecessary surgery, and progression of the patient’s genuine medical issue.
When discussing eye operation malpractice, most people think of mistakes made during Lasik procedures and other surgical errors.
Some of the repercussions for patients who experience a surgical error include:
- Vision impairment
- Light sensitivity
- Additional surgeries
- Severe dry eye syndrome
- Pain and suffering
Surgical error is a significant cause of injury during many surgical procedures, but doctors aren't likely to admit they made a mistake.
"Every doctor makes mistakes, but medicine's culture of denial (and shame) keeps doctors from ever talking about those mistakes, or using them to learn and improve. "
- Brian Goldman, Physician
Many medical negligence claims stem from insufficient equipment sterilization before surgery.
An eye doctor who wishes to perform Lasik eye surgery to resolve a patient’s condition can still face a Lasik malpractice case if proper sterilization did not take place before examining a post-op patient.
Common Types of Eye Surgery Medical Malpractice Cases
The human eye is sensitive, so any eye surgery could go wrong. However, most eye surgery medical malpractice cases stem from the most popular types of surgery .
Lasik Eye Surgery Medical Malpractice
When Lasik surgeons perform laser-assisted surgery on their patients, they risk spawning a few different types of Lasik surgery lawsuits.
Some Lasik injury cases often go beyond Lasik malpractice, branching into a product liability lawsuit or even criminal legal action.
Any doctor who performs Lasik surgery should carry Lasik malpractice insurance to cover any liability established in Lasik surgery cases.
Lasik malpractice insurance may cover a patient’s:
- Increased medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Additional surgery
- Pain and suffering
Retinal Reattachment Surgery Medical Malpractice
Retinal reattachment surgery addresses a retinal detachment caused by trauma or disease.
When surgeons breach the standard of care during this surgery, it can lead to blurry vision, permanent blindness, or eye loss, giving rise to medical malpractice claims.
Related Article: Blindness and Vision Loss Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
Cataract Surgery Medical Malpractice
Many patients seek cataract surgery to remedy their impaired vision. However, when cataract surgery goes wrong, it can lead to double vision, infection, or a major disability.
Some patients lose lines of vision, resulting in partial blindness.
As part of their risk management strategy, cataract surgeons maintain large malpractice insurance policies to cover any damage to the patient.
Common Types of Eye Surgery Medical Malpractice Injuries
Eye surgeries can result in several different types of injuries.
Some of the most common types of eye surgery medical malpractice injuries include:
- Corneal abrasion
- Foreign objects in the eye
- Iris prolapse
- Retinal detachment
- Capsular contraction syndrome
- Chronic corneal edema
Eye Surgery Medical Malpractice Settlement
Most eye operation medical malpractice cases settle for very large compensation amounts before they reach trial.
What Is The Average Malpractice Settlement?
The average payout for a medical malpractice settlement in the United States is over $240,000.
Several factors will determine the settlement amount, including:
- Nature of the injury
- The severity of the injury
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of employment
- Age of the patient
What Is The Highest Malpractice Settlement?
The highest malpractice settlement is $20.1 million for failure to treat a brain injury. However, that settlement is only the highest known payout.
Usually, the patient will sign a non-disclosure agreement to keep the medical malpractice settlement amount private.
Eye Surgery Medical Malpractice Trial
The few eye operation malpractice cases that go to trial can carry stiff penalties for the doctor, including punitive damages, compensatory damages, and fines.
Although the patient plaintiff may receive these extra awards, the time and effort that go into a trial often favor a settlement.
Eye Surgery Medical Malpractice Compensation
The eye surgery medical malpractice compensation that an injured patient receives will vary due to various factors.
Some of the factors that determine compensation amounts include:
- Strength of the plaintiff’s case
- The extent of injury to the patient
- Defendant’s medical malpractice insurance policy
- The estimated cost of trial
- Accrued patient expenses
- Doctor malfeasance
Cost of an Eye Surgery Medical Malpractice Lawyer
A patient who has suffered an injury during an operation should not worry about the cost of an eye surgery medical malpractice lawyer.
In most cases, your law firm will take your case on a contingency fee basis, meaning you do not have to pay anything upfront, and your attorney only receives money if you win at trial or settle your case.
What Happens If the Lasik Procedure Goes Wrong?
If the Lasik procedure goes wrong, the patient may suffer vision loss, diminished quality of life, permanent damage to the cornea, and other complications.
However, the courts will not assume that an injury means the doctor breached the standard of care. The burden of proof remains with the patient as the plaintiff with a legal claim.
Is It Medical Malpractice If My Eye Surgeon Puts the Wrong Lens in During Cataract Surgery?
It is medical malpractice if your eye surgeon puts the wrong lens in during cataract surgery, unless the doctor can give a valid legal excuse. Similar circumstances in the past have resulted in over-treated or under-treated vision problems for the patient.
Consult with an Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorney Today
Allow our medical malpractice attorneys to review your medical injury in a timely manner to avoid the expiration of the short statute of limitations.
Our skilled legal team can help you build a capable malpractice lawsuit based on the most relevant details of your eye surgery.
Our attorney can help you file your lawsuit once the case is built. Call Schmidt & Clark at (866) 588-0600 for a free consultation today!