Can You Sue For An Unsuccessful Knee Replacement Surgery?
Although most total knee replacement surgeries are successful, there are a small segment that are not. A failed operation could mean you need additional surgeries for you. It could also mean you have legal options available to you to recover compensation for the botched surgery. If your surgery was unsuccessful, here is what you need to know.
Is It Medical Malpractice?
Even though you might feel the surgeon was negligent in performing the knee replacement surgery, the court might not agree. There are very strict guidelines that dictate whether or not your case would fit the requirements to be considered medical malpractice.
One of the requirements you must prove is that the actions of your surgeon were negligent. It is important to note that the surgery comes with various risks, including infection. If the doctor properly performed the surgery, but you suffered a complication that was unavoidable, it is possible that your doctor was not negligent.
However, if the surgeon's performance could be construed as incompetent, you might have a case. For instance, if the surgeon failed to verify that the replacement device was not under recall before using it, this could be considered negligent.
Can the Manufacturer Be Responsible?
Depending on the injury you suffer from the knee replacement surgery, it is possible that the manufacturer could also be held responsible for the failed procedure. If the design of the replacement device was flawed, you could file a lawsuit against the manufacturer.
For instance, if the device did not hold together once it was surgically implanted and it failed to fuse to the bone as it should, the manufacturer could be liable.
What Can You Do?
If you believe that you have a valid claim against the doctor or manufacturer, you need to notify the responsible party as soon as possible. The notice letter can be as simple as a statement that you plan to sue in the future for damages related to the surgery.
The notice has several purposes, including preserving your right to file a lawsuit. After the surgical procedure, the clock starts ticking on how long you have to notify the responsible party. If you do not, a court could refuse to allow your case to move forward.
In the event that you decide not to follow a lawsuit, you do not have to take any further action. However, if you do move forward, you and your attorney can evaluate your claim and send a demand letter to the responsible party. Contact a lawyer like one from Clearfield & Kofsky for more info.