If you've been injured before, during, or after knee replacement surgery, you'll be entitled to compensation for the damages caused. Before understanding the role of an\ orthopedic expert witness in arthroplasty malpractices, let's go through the synopsis to know about this surgery and the malpractices that might occur.
What is knee replacement surgery and what complications you can face?
Knee replacement surgeries are recommended by the surgeons when there is pain and swelling. Some or all the parts of the knee joint are replaced using synthetic implantation. Usually, most knee problems happen due to osteoarthritis. If you've had surgery and facing complications, there can be a case of medical negligence against your healthcare professional.
In knee replacement surgeries, the femur is replaced with metal caps and the tibia is replaced with a metal stem and a plastic piece. Some of the potential risks associated with arthroplasty are as follows:
- Heart attack
- Joint infections
- Nerve damage
- Pulmonary embolism
- Loss of motion
- Joint stiffness
- Movement impairment
- Blood vessel injury
- Bleeding or blood clotting
- Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
When such complications occur, the patient can sue their surgeons for causing damage to their health. Moreover, such complications also give way to additional expenses, loss of enjoyment of life, and in serious cases; the patient may also lose the ability to earn which in turn gives ways to loss of income! Patients can bring medical malpractice cases against them for being negligent while performing the surgery.
How to identify a medical malpractice case and why a knee replacement expert witness is important?
Just because you expected the outcome to be 100% successful doesn't mean that there has been a malpractice case. There are certain essential grounds that need to be proven to support your allegations. Medical negligence will arise only when the health professional deviates from the accepted medical standard of care. Remember that medical malpractice cases are complicated and involve a lot of ambiguity and hurdles. This is where you'll need a malpractice lawyer. Except for clear-cut malpractice cases, it is very difficult to prove that the surgeon was responsible for negligence. There's no rule or formula to prove that the surgeon was wrong in the eyes of law! The outcome of the case will be decided by the jury after hearing both parties in detail. Medical malpractice cases involve complex medical elements that are outside the purview of the lawyers. This is when an orthopedic surgery expert witness will be retained by the attorney to understand these medical complications.
If you're facing any of the complications mentioned in the list above, chances are that your surgeon might have warned you before performing the surgery. Also, there cannot be malpractice claims if you have given your consent to the surgeon for performing the surgery. As soon as it is found that there is informed consent, the surgeon is free from liability claims.
However, if you believe that the surgeon did not warn of you the complications or they didn't obtain your previous medical history, and you probably didn't want to go for the surgery, then there will be a case of medical malpractice. But there are chances of losing the case if the surgery was beneficial to your health, regardless of the complexities!
Medical negligence cases can arise if the surgeon-
- Failed to check the previous medical history
- Failed to obtain consent from the patient
- Misdiagnosed the problem
- Caused delay in diagnosis
- Left inside foreign objects inside the patient's body
- Carelessly fractures a bone
- Cuts a wrong body part
Medical negligence can happen if your surgeon is involved in any of these cases mentioned above. This is when expert orthopedic witnesses will be called by an attorney. In this context, let's discuss the role of these witnesses!
Role of expert witnesses in knee replacement malpractices:
The demand for orthopedic surgeon witnesses has grown over the years because of increased technological errors. These witnesses are certified and have received adequate training to testify in medical malpractice claims. Their role in malpractice cases adds a huge weightage to the court case. The orthopedic witnesses are called upon to find out if there has been contributory negligence! It means that the expert witness will find out if the patient was responsible for the damages caused. If there is evidence that the surgeon was responsible, then a lawsuit will be filed against the surgeon.
The main role of an orthopedic witness is to prepare a comprehensive and detailed report based on the case findings. These reports can either be sent to the court or may be handed over to the attorney. This report is vital evidence as it involved important findings and conclusions based on scientifically proven facts. Though the report will be a complex one, it has to be written in simple language so that it becomes digestible to the attorney. This is because these attorneys will have to present the facts before the jury and based on this understanding, the jury will make the points. The conclusions stated in the report are important as they'll decide the validation or dismissal of the medical negligence claims. Besides this, an orthopedic surgeon expert witness is called for deposition and testimony in court proceedings.
Medical negligence lawsuits are legally complex procedures and the hospitals have access to high-quality legal teams to shield their working staff and the doctors in legal matters. Patients who have been a victim of medical negligence should have a professional attorney by their side to fight the defendant's legal team, prove liabilities, and settle the claims with the highest amount of compensation. You can seek the help of an orthopedic expert only when there is an attorney beside you! They have a good network with reputed orthopedic surgeon experts who have years of experience and qualifications in testifying for medical malpractice cases.