Qualifying as a neurosurgeon takes around 15 years. Does this mean you are in safe hands when you need one to operate on you? Unfortunately, not always. Neurosurgeons face a higher rate of medical malpractice claims than other types of medic. According to the Journal of Neurosurgery, each year, 20% of practicing neurosurgeons face a lawsuit. The average payout is higher than any other specialty at almost half a million dollars.
What types of damage can neurosurgeons do?
Working as a neurosurgeon comes with great responsibility. Their area of expertise is the brain and spine. When they operate, they are operating on the control system for your entire body. Mistakes can be catastrophic. At least half of all claims brought are for spinal surgery problems, which is the most common work done. Damaging the spine could lead to paralysis or a host of other damage.
Can I claim if surgery carried out by a neurosurgeon goes wrong?
Claiming medical malpractice is not as straightforward as you might hope. Not getting the desired results does not mean you can claim. Any neurosurgery comes with a risk of failure. The law does not expect surgeons to be able to predict every eventuality. It does not expect surgery to be successful all the time.
To bring a medical malpractice claim, you need to show the neurosurgeon’s actions caused you direct harm. You have to prove they could not have foreseen the outcome. You must show they acted differently from the expectation for someone with their expertise in the situation. If you believe you meet these conditions, it is important to seek prompt legal advice. The harm done may affect you for the rest of your life, yet state laws only give you a limited amount of time to claim.