When people take medication, undergo surgery or receive care in the hospital, the hope and expectation is that they will feel better as a result. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen and people can suffer a complication or adverse medical event.
In these situations, it may seem like the cause is medical mistake or malpractice. However, there are many situations where this would likely not be the case.
Lasik eye surgery
As an example, hundreds of thousands of people undergo Lasik surgery every year to improve their vision. This elective operation is only getting more popular, and some doctors refer to the procedure as one of the “safest medical procedures,” as noted in this New York Times article.
That said, there are still people who experience complications as a result of Lasik. Some develop pain, dry eyes and visual aberrations that may or may not improve over time. However, these complications would likely not be the result of medical malpractice.
Difference between unavoidable complications and negligence
This is not to say that medical negligence is unheard of in Lasik or any other type of elective surgery. There are situations where a complication stems from a mistake or negligence. This could be the case if:
- A doctor did not explain the procedure or risks to a patient (informed consent)
- A doctor made a mistake during the operation or made an unusual decision that went against standard practices
- A party performed an operation without having proper training or certification
- A doctor (or other medical workers) was impaired and should not have been present during surgery
- Parties failed to comply with standard operating procedures
Under these circumstances, there may be grounds for a legal claim if a patient suffered damages as a result.
Know your legal options
It is not always immediately clear if a particular outcome stems from negligence or not, especially in cases involving multiple or highly complex surgical procedures. To understand whether a medical malpractice claim is appropriate or not, it can be crucial to discuss the details with an experienced attorney.