Burned During Surgery...

by Tanya
(Portsmouth, Ohio)

My 8 year old son had surgery. The equipment that the doctors used caused my son a 3rd degree burn on his upper thigh. He now has a large scar on his leg. Is the doctor and/or hospital liable for his injury and the resulting scar? What about the manufacturer of the surgical equipment?

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Burned During Surgery...":

Tanya (Portsmouth, Ohio):

From the facts you present it appears the hospital and doctors should be liable for your son's injuries. The doctors have what in the legal community is referred to as a "Duty of Care" to your son. That duty of care is quite high when it comes to the treatment of children. Children are defenseless and must rely on the care of adults to protect them.

If the equipment the doctors used was defective and in some manner malfunctioned, or it's design was faulty, the legal premise of "Product Liability" will affect your son's case as well.

Before taking any legal action make sure your son's primary and secondary injuries are treated. There isn't any reason to rush. In the State of Ohio there is a 2 years Statute of Limitations, or "time period" in which you must either settle your son's case or file a lawsuit.

There are some personal injury cases which can be settled without the intervention of a personal injury attorney. Then there are medical malpractice cases. Medical malpractice cases include the reputations of doctors, hospitals, and in your son's case, a very expensive medical device.

If the doctors, hospital, or manufacturer of the device were to admit liability the consequences to them could be swift and severe. As a result all three entities will fight hard to defend themselves. Because you can be sure they are all heavily insured you should know their insurance companies will provide to each of them the highest caliber of legal representation.

The last place you want to be is in a courtroom surrounded by experienced personal injury defense attorneys and presenting your case by yourself. You probably wouldn't make it to trial anyway. Without an attorney representing you and your son, your son's case will probably be dismissed almost before it starts.

Consult with several personal injury attorneys. Almost all will not charge you for an initial office consultation. Then if you choose to retain one he or she will not charge you any fee until, and unless, they settle your son's case or win it at trial.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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