Can I Sue My Doctor for Operating on the Wrong Limb?

Is it possible to sue a doctor for operating on the wrong limb? Yes, it is possible. Doctors must provide the prevailing standard of care for their patients. 

If any surgery patient suffers any injury due to preventable medical mistakes, the patient or their family can sue the doctor to recover compensation for their losses. Suing a doctor for operating on the wrong limb holds them accountable for their error.

When doctors attempt procedures with zero experience or hire untrained staff, patients suffer the adverse consequences of their actions. However, when a patient sues a doctor, they may get the compensation they deserve and spare others from having the same experience. Suing a doctor can be challenging, but working with a Boynton Beach medical malpractice lawyer makes it easier.

When Can You Sue My Doctor for Wrong Surgery in Boynton Beach, Florida?

It’s unbelievable that a doctor could operate on the wrong body part in this day and age. But unfortunately, doctors operating on the wrong body part often happen, and sometimes the act is underreported. 

Although these kinds of mistakes are rare and are the least common types of medical malpractice, they can sometimes result in severe consequences for the patients. So, if anyone has been injured because a doctor operated on the wrong limb, you are entitled to seek damages by filing a medical malpractice claim.

Surgeries involve risk, but not all negative outcomes can be filed as a medical malpractice claim. Understanding what amount to medical negligence is important. 

The damage must be caused by a doctor’s failure to act with the standard of care another health care professional would use in the same situation. To successfully establish that a doctor has failed to exercise a high degree of care, the victim must demonstrate the doctor’s negligence with the help of their medical malpractice lawyer. 

The law in Boynton Beach, Florida, and other states differ a bit but proving negligence requires the following:

  • Establishing the applicable standard of care
  • Showing how the doctor strayed from that standard, and
  • How the insufficient care led to the patient’s injury.

Before filing a medical malpractice claim, medical facts must indicate the alleged deviation from the recognized standard of care and the patient’s injury. An injury lawyer must also prove that the patient’s losses are compensable. 

For example, if a patient requires additional surgery or hospitalization, this would be a compensable injury. The patient can also seek compensation for physical pain, suffering, and non-economic damages.

Types of Surgery Errors That Can Lead to Lawsuits

Wrong body part surgery occurs when surgery is performed on a healthy part or organ. For example, the patients might have the wrong limb operated on or amputated. A study revealed that wrong-site surgery is estimated to occur 40 times per week in hospitals and clinics in the US.

Aside from operating on the wrong site, several other things can go wrong in surgery if the doctor is negligent. Let’s look at a few of the most common medical-surgical errors that can lead to lawsuits.

Wrong Patient

Wrong patient or unnecessary surgery is not as common as operating on the wrong limb. A patient can be subjected to unplanned or unneeded surgery and left with the complications that accompany surgery. Sometimes, this surgery may have lasting undesirable effects on the patient.


This is one of the common medical mistakes that has left many patients in critical conditions. Using unsterilized and unhygienic surgical instruments during surgery can lead to infection. 

However, if the patient already suffers from a compromised or fragile immune system, the results could be an infection that can be fatal. Surgical site infections occur in 2% to 4% of all patients undergoing inpatient surgical procedures.

Retained Surgical Instruments in Patient

It is common for many doctors to leave surgical instruments inside a patient’s body after surgery. Some hospitals have the rule to count all surgical instruments, such as gauze, clamp, sponge, needles, etc., before and after surgery. 

However, surgical teams sometimes fail to do so, and this medical error usually requires another surgery to retrieve the foreign objects from the patient. In addition, complications and infections can arise due to the surgical instrument left in the body.

Internal Organs Damage

Some neighboring internal organs or tissues can get punctured or severed during surgery with a laser or scissors. Organ perforation can lead to severe or lifelong health issues.

Other surgical errors include the following:

  • Nerve damage
  • Unnecessary or unneeded medical procedures
  • Delayed surgery
  • Anesthesia errors

Suing a Doctor for Medical Malpractice

To have a successful medical malpractice lawsuit, a patient must prove that a doctor-patient relationship created a fiduciary relationship and gave rise to a duty of care. Next, the patient must prove that there was a breach of this duty and this has caused an injury or loss.

Again, proving the doctor’s negligence is not always easy. As a result, a Boynton Beach, Florida medical malpractice lawyer must work with expert witnesses. These experts must practice in the same field as the defendant and have the same experience. 

The purpose is for the expert to show that someone with similar knowledge and experience will not have acted below the prevailing standard of care. Once the victim and their lawyer prove this, their chances of receiving maximum compensation increase. 

What Types of Compensation Are Available in a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?

A surgical error lawsuit will naturally require two types of damages for the patient. These damages include economic and non-economic damages.

Economic Damages

This type of damage compensates an injured patient for all documented monetary loss. This economic loss includes additional medical expenses and wages lost. An injured patient can also demand compensation for future medical costs in complicated cases such as permanent disability or disfigurement. 

They can also demand compensation for future income losses if the damage from the mistake keeps them from working. In addition, where the victim dies, their legal beneficiaries can file a wrongful death lawsuit and recover funeral and burial expenses.

Non-Economic Damages

This damage compensates the patient for losses such as physical pain, suffering, loss of time with loved ones, emotional distress, etc. Non-economic damage is usually a multiple or triple of economic damages. 

Sometimes, some patients’ previous lifestyles might contribute to compensating for non-economic damages. For example, a competitive athlete may no longer be able to compete due to a surgical error.

Finally, in cases where the doctor was grossly or maliciously negligent (although rare), the victim can ask for punitive damages. The court may award it to punish the defendant and warn others to desist from similar conduct.

Let Our Boynton Beach, Florida Injury Attorneys Help You!

If you or anyone has suffered any injury due to surgical error, you might be able to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. Filing a suit can be complicated as it involves obtaining and reviewing medical records and consulting professional physicians to determine the standard of care. 

Our Boynton Beach medical malpractice lawyers at Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers have the skills and experience to handle complicated medical malpractice cases. We will fight for you until we get a fair settlement. Call our office at (561) 800-8000 to schedule a free evaluation.


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