OUR BLOG

Neurosurgeon Malpractice Isn’t Something To Ignore

In January 2021, Natalie Avilez filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against a neurosurgeon at Mercy Clinic East Communities. The reason?  Neurosurgeon Malpractice. Believe it or not, her surgeon operated on the wrong side of her spine. 

When Avilez was referred to a neurosurgeon for her back pain, she was told an easy surgery would relieve her from the intense pain she felt. For her, it was a no brainer. Continue suffering from back pain, or undergo an “easy” surgery that would make it go away completely? The choice was as easy as the neurosurgeon claimed the surgery to be. 

After Avilez began waking up from surgery, she remembers hearing her neurosurgeon apologize and say he made a mistake. She quickly learned her neurosurgeon operated on the wrong side of her spine. Instead of resolving her right-side disc issue, the neurosurgeon performed a left side hemilaminectomy. Even before she had full consciousness, her surgeon wanted to get her authorization to put her under once more – right away. Avilez allowed him to redo the surgery the next day. Unfortunately, after the second surgery, she was left with more intense back pain than before. This led to her filing a neurosurgeon malpractice lawsuit.

Does this story sound familiar? Are you or a loved one a victim of neurosurgeon malpractice? You could be compensated. Get in touch with one of our team members to discuss your options. Contact Hampton & King today.

Doctor explains spinal surgery.

What Is A Neurosurgeon?

Neurosurgeons are highly specialized physicians who deal with issues that affect the nervous system and the brain. Many people think of neurosurgeons as brain surgeons, but they are much more. They can help patients seek relief from a number of illnesses and conditions. These include:

    • Sciatica
    • Epilepsy
    • Alzheimer’s
    • Spinal cord cancer
    • Neck pain
    • Back pain
    • Herniated disk 
    • Cerebrovascular disorders
    • Brain and spinal tumors
    • Stroke

Neurosurgeons typically try to resolve issues using non-operative treatment plans. When surgery is needed, most neurosurgeons try to use minimally non-invasive techniques if possible. 

Because neurosurgeons are dealing with one of the most delicate parts of the human body, they must be highly specialized. Many times, their surgeries and treatments could be the difference between life and death. That’s why they spend several years seeking education beyond their medical degree. 

What Does Neurosurgeon Malpractice Look Like?

Every year, approximately 20% of all neurosurgeons face some sort of medical malpractice litigation. Most of these claims arise because of spinal surgery dissatisfaction. Neurosurgeons are fully aware how delicate their work is and they understand mistakes can be life-threatening. Unfortunately, some neurosurgeons act neglectfully when offering care. 

Although neurosurgeon malpractice claims happen more frequently, they are also some of the most difficult cases to dissect. Sometimes it can be difficult to even realize you have a neurosurgeon malpractice case on your hand.

Here are what some common neurosurgeon malpractice claims look like:

Surgical Errors

    • Performing on the wrong side of the spine or brain
    • Puncturing a nerve causing excess and/or uncontrollable bleeding
    • Applying too much pressure on brain while operating
    • Performing the wrong surgery
    • Leaving equipment inside the patient after surgery
    • Not treating a blood clot right away
    • Administering an incorrect dosage of medicine

Diagnostic Errors

    • Misdiagnosing the patient
    • Waiting too long to diagnose the patient

Pre & Post-Operative Errors

    • Not adequately explaining the risks or side effects of care/treatment
    • Not taking patient’s medical history
    • Failure to provide the right kind of aftercare to the patient

Understanding You Might Be A Victim of Neurosurgeon Malpractice

Remember when we said realizing your care included neglect was difficult? It’s true. Many times when people come home from a surgery, they don’t feel like themselves. People usually chalk it up to their body’s normal response to an invasive procedure. They aren’t aware that sometimes, how they’re feeling is solely because of a surgeon’s neglect. 

If you’ve recently been treated by a neurosurgeon, here are some signs malpractice might have been at play:

    • An infection after surgery
    • Brain damage after surgery
    • Mobility issues never present before
    • Feeling painful pressure at the site of surgery that doesn’t go away (or nerve damage)
    • Being sent home before you feel ready

These symptoms may not always be due to malpractice. However, it is important to ask questions and see your provider to get an explanation.

How To File Your Claim

If you received care from a neurosurgeon, and something went wrong, it doesn’t automatically mean you have a malpractice case. Even with the best providers in the best facilities, things can go wrong. If, however, you can prove your injuries would not have existed had a more capable neurosurgeon cared for you, you have a case. Your claim should show the pain and injuries you suffered were avoidable

Find A Lawyer

Now that you know what you need to prove in court, you have to find the right team to fight on your behalf. Having an experienced malpractice attorney on your side can really help your case. These attorneys know what evidence to show in court and exactly how to weave through the case.

Dealing with the aftermath of a botched neurosurgeon procedure is already stressful enough. Filing through medical papers and spending hours looking for evidence yourself can be exhausting. A good malpractice lawyer can definitely lessen your burden.

Gather Your Documents

If you’ve selected your lawyer, you will want to gather all relevant documentation before your first meeting with a lawyer.

This includes:

    • All medical forms including treatment plans, consent forms, etc.
    • Health records such as x-rays, CT scans, and other imaging records
    • Medical bills 
    • List of prescriptions

One very important piece of information you should keep in mind: when it comes to malpractice claims, don’t delay. Most malpractice cases have a strict 2-year statute of limitations. If you wait too long, you might be out of luck for any sort of compensation. 

Gavel for neurosurgery malpractice lawsuit.

Justice & Compensation

Seeing a neurosurgeon can be nerve-wrecking itself. But leaving from one knowing you have additional injuries is devastating. Neurosurgeon malpractice can have life-altering or even fatal results, especially because neurosurgeon errors are irreversible. You shouldn’t have to live with lifelong injuries because of a provider’s neglectful mistakes. 

Here at Hampton & King, we understand how difficult it is to live with these circumstances. That’s why we are committed to seek justice for those who suffer from malpractice. 

Contact us today for a free consultation. 

Neurosurgeon Malpractice FAQ’s

My neurosurgeon tried to right their wrong and treated me a second time. I was still left with complications. Can I sue?

Some providers realize their mistake early and try to correct it. They might even vocalize it. But that doesn’t change the fact they were neglectful in the first place. You can sue as long as you show evidence of neglect, and proof of your injuries. 

How much money can I expect to receive from my settlement?

Here’s the short answer: it depends. Each case is different and each individual presents a different claim. What you can expect is to be paid for lost wages, pain and suffering, lost future income, and all medical expenses related to your malpractice injuries.

How long will it take for my case to be settled?

Unfortunately, it is difficult to determine how long it would take for you to receive compensation for your neurosurgeon malpractice suit. While some cases may take months, others can take years.