How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Lucy, Esq. Your Own Question
Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Personal Injury Law
Satisfied Customers: 27621
Experience:  JA Mentor
26798026
Type Your Personal Injury Law Question Here...
Lucy, Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I had surgery on a rotator cuff repair. It was a partical

Customer Question

I had surgery on a rotator cuff repair. It was a partical repair, not the whole rotator cuff. Which I did consent to general anesthesia. The day I had surgery I received general anesthesia and they gave me regional anesthesia in which I didn't consent to. I received a brachial plexus injury after surgery. I have worked till the day I had surgery, but now I'm on disability. Can I sue?
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Personal Injury Law
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 6 months ago.
Hi, I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear about your situation. Can you explain how your injury is related to the anesthesia used? Also, what state are you in?
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Hello! Well Regional anesthesia or Interscalene block is used by needle and they insert it close to your neck and back to block pain during surgery. I'm in LOUISIANA.
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 6 months ago.
Thank you. There are multiple elements to a medical malpractice claim, and you have the burden of proving each of them.Duty: All lawyers have a duty to their patients, so that's easy enough.The standard of care: Meaning, what would doctors with similar training, education, and experience due in this situation? Is it common to use a regional anesthetic for a surgery on a rotator cuff rather than putting someone out under a general anesthesia? Are the risks to both types similar enough that most doctors wouldn't think to get consent for both? To raise a consent argument, you need to be able to establish that you weren't in a position to protest to having the needle used.Breach: Meaning, what did your doctor do wrong? Again, if using regional vs. general anesthesia is common practice, that may not be enough to establish malpractice. You need an expert medical witness to explain how your doctor failed to give you the standard of care you were entitled to as a patient.Causation: It's not enough that the doctor inserted a needle into your neck and you're now injured unless the injury occurred during the surgery. A doctor needs to explain HOW your injury occurred so that a reasonable person could say "If the doctor had not done X (meaning the breach), this plaintiff would not be injured.Damages: When you're talking about lost wages, you also need a doctor who can say how long you should have been out of work after rotator cuff surgery versus the amount of work you wound up missing.As you can probably see, most of those elements require testimony from a doctor. Many lawyers who do medical malpractice have a list of doctors they use who can review your medical records and issue an opinion. But that's the starting point. It's not enough that you had surgery and wound up injured. You have to be able to show that your doctors made a mistake they could've avoided by using a reasonable degree of care. It could be difficult to phrase this as assault and battery, since you consented to being knocked out and instead got a needle pinch. Again, it could come down to whether you were alert at the time they brought out the needle and whether you raised any objections. It's not something police would investigate - that would have to be part of a civil case. But you'd also have to carefully read all of the consent forms you signed, because there's possibly language in there that would prevent you from pursuing this type of suit. If the lawyer you talked to wasn't helpful, try calling another medical malpractice lawyer in your area. A good place to start is www.martindale.com. If you have any questions or concerns about my response, please reply WITHOUT RATING. It's important that you are 100% satisfied with my courtesy and professionalism. Otherwise, please rate my service positively so I am paid for the time I spend answering questions. If you are on a mobile device, you may need to scroll to the right. There is no charge for follow-up questions. Thank you.
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 6 months ago.
Did you have any questions about this?