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Proving knee surgery negligence for a successful lawsuit

On Behalf of | Feb 26, 2024 | Medical Malpractice |

Knee replacement surgery is a relatively standard procedure in the United States, with an estimated 600,000 performed yearly. Ideally, the surgery gives the patient improved mobility, reduces pain and generally improves the patient’s quality of life. Still, not every surgery is successful. While this can frustrate the patient, the unsuccessful surgery does not automatically mean they can file a successful medical malpractice lawsuit.

The plaintiff must prove negligence by the medical staff or the health care system. It could also involve the knee manufacturer (due to a malfunctioning or improperly designed knee) or another malfunctioning medical device used during the procedure. The malpractice involves greater harm to the victim. They can seek damages to cover medical expenses and lost wages. There is also damages for pain and suffering and a diminished quality of life caused by the negligence.

4 key elements to a lawsuit

The details of each case are different, but there are generally four elements that are necessary for a successful lawsuit. These are:

  1. A professional relationship: There must be a formal relationship between healthcare professionals and patients. Consent is established using payment, paperwork and proper documentation in medical records.
  2. A breach of duty: There must be negligence by medical professionals where they did not meet the established levels of standard medical care in the United States.
  3. Additional harm: The knee replacement may not be successful, but there often needs to be complications caused by the surgery. Examples of this include severe infections, blood clots, nerve damage, errors with anesthesia, or implant malfunction due to improper installation.
  4. Proof: The plaintiff must prove that they suffered physical, psychological and financial harm due to the negligence.

Help for the patient

A personal injury attorney with experience representing victims of medical malpractice involving knee surgery can also be crucial to a case’s success. Moreover, there are usually also expert witnesses, such as impartial medical doctors who conduct knee surgery and know the technical details as well as the recovery process.