Infection after Surgery..

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Infection after Surgery..

My daughter 15 year old developed an infection after having ACL reconstruction surgery in June 2017, resulting in 3 more surgeries to her leg being required after the surgery. We believe the infection was contracted during the original surgery at the surgery center feverish for weeks after original surgery, slow recovery. We are expecting her to recover infection finally clearing, though she has additional scarring from the extra surgeries 3 fairly long additional incisions, 3-5 inches. Would I have a case to sue for disfigurement and pain and suffering?

Asked on March 4, 2018 under Malpractice Law, California


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Medical malpractice is negligence.  Negligence on the part of the doctor is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable medical practitioner in the community would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).
Negligence on the part of the hospital (surgery center) is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable hospital would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).
Prior to filing a lawsuit for negligence against the doctor and hospital, it may be possible to settle the case with their malpractice insurance carriers.
Notify the malpractice insurance carriers in writing of your daughter's claim.  When she completes her medical treatment and is released by the doctor or is declared to be permanent and stationary which means having reached a point in her medical treatment where no further improvement is anticipated, obtain her medical bills and medical reports.  Her claim filed with the malpractice insurance carriers for the surgeon and hospital should include those items.
Compensation for the medical bills for the additional surgeries is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports document her treatment and condition and are used to determine compensation for pain and suffering which is an amount in addition to the medical bills which would include the scars and the additional surgeries.
If the case is settled with both malpractice insurance carriers (surgeon and hospital), NO lawsuit is filed.
If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the malpractice insurance carriers, reject the settlement offers and file one lawsuit for negligence against the surgeon and hospital.  If the case has settled with one, but not both parties, only name the party with whom the case has NOT settled as a defendant in the lawsuit.  You will need to be appointed guardian ad litem to file a lawsuit on behalf of your daughter because she is a minor.
If the case is NOT settled, the lawsuit on behalf of your daughter must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or she will lose her rights forever in the matter.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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