What to do about surgical hardware failure and possible medical malpractice?

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What to do about surgical hardware failure and possible medical malpractice?

I had back surgery in 03/10. I was doing fine until around the end of May when it started to hurt again. The doctor said that I would experience some pain from scar tissue, etc. but said not to worry. I went another 2 months with no relief so he had an X-ray taken. It showed a cracked screw. He said that my back surgery was OK though. It continued to hurt so I had a mylogram and CAT scan. The results showed screw (hardware) failure and no fusion. Now my doctor says a second surgery with more hardware is needed. I am really concerned as to what to do. Is this medical malpractice or product liability or both? Should I proceed with getting a personal injury lawyer? In Tarrant County, TX. 

Asked on November 6, 2010 under Malpractice Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You should definitely speak with an experienced medical malpractice/medical product liability attorney. (The two are not quite the same, but you should be able to find someone who does both.) The answer is, you *may* have a suit for product liability or medical mal and it's worth consulting with an attorney to see if that is the case. For a product liability suit, if the screw was defective in some way--manufactured badly, wrong design, substandard materials, etc.--you might have a cause of action. For med mal, if the doctors, etc. were careless or negligent in some way, you might have a cause of action. It depends on the facts; sometimes, people suffer bad surgical outcomes without any legal liability attaching to anyone and there's no opportuntity to recover. If the screw was good and the medical team did everything right, for example, you would not have a cause of action. You need an experienced attorney to evaluate the facts with you.


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