Surgical screws are generally small titanium or stainless steel screws that are meant to help with fractures, breaks, and more. They are not magnetic, so they do not set off metal detectors, but they are still very much so metal. Doctors will use them instead of plastic because of the properties: plastic may leach, or it may corrode over time. If you had a surgical screw inserted and you suffered injuries because it broke or was defective, you can get legal help from our law firm, the Downtown LA Law Group. Our medical malpractice attorneys will see to it that you win your claim.
Surgical Screw Injuries
Surgical screws are usually inserted into areas where bones need to be affixed. It is common for spinal surgery and neck surgery to have screws inserted so that the vertebrae fuse. Degenerative discs, for instance, would cause a ton of pain, and it is crucial that the doctor act quickly so that they do not cause permanent damage to the vertebrae.
However, the screws that were used could very easily have been defective in some way. They may be easily broken or they could not have been inserted properly. If they break while in the body, they can cause extreme pain, inflammation, internal bleeding, loss of mobility, infection, and more. It is extremely important that you go through the necessary channels and do not rush into the decision to get screws inserted. Removing them may be difficult, and the problems that can ensue are many.
How to File a Defective Spine Surgery Screw Lawsuit
In order to file a lawsuit for a broken surgical screw, you have to prove that there was negligent action from the doctor. There are four points that must be shown as true or factual. You must have had an established doctor/patient relationship with the doctor or surgeon; the doctor must have breached his duty of care in some manner; the breach of duty must have resulted in an accident or incident involving the screw; and the incident must have resulted in actual physical injuries. In addition, a claim will also require that other doctors testify that they would not have acted in the same manner under the same or similar circumstances. They will state whether or not they would have used a different kind of screw, if they would have opted for another surgical method, if they would have had more professionals in the operating room, and more.
It can be difficult to gather necessary proof immediately, especially if you cannot determine the extent of the damage from the malpractice. Some of the damages may actually not show up for some time after a surgery. Still, this is why it is extremely important that you hold on to all medical receipts, insurance billings, treatment notes, and more. After you have determined that the back surgery screws were defective and have to be replaced, you should go see another doctor to get treatment. It is crucial that you get additional medical treatment as quickly as possible once you notice pain or identify the injury. You will remain healthy and get the problem under control, thus limiting the chance of future damages. You will also have a better hold on your insurance claim, as the insurance agent will be less likely to doubt it or throw it away.
Next, you should take photos of your injuries and damages to show the severity or what happened when the surgical screws broke. There may be certain damages that came to the surface or you can show your limited range of motion.
If there were any eyewitnesses who could attest to the doctor’s wrongful or negligent actions, you should try to get their information and record their statements and testimonies. You should have other people on your side who can provide support that you were injured from the broken or defective screws. It can be hard to get nurses or other workers at the hospital to provide statements, though, as they may not want to potentially risk losing their job or damaging their work relations.
If other individuals had surgical screw issues, you could file a class action lawsuit and join up with other injured patients. All of you would pool your evidence together to show that the material was faulty, for example.
You can file an incident report with the hospital so they have a record that the screw was defective. You must also alert them to your future in filing a medical malpractice claim.
Finally, it is highly recommended that you search for legal representation from an expert medical malpractice lawyer. You might not have any legal experience, which is crucial for these types of claims. If you don’t know how to negotiate a deal or use the law to your advantage, your claim will not succeed. You also may be in no health to handle all of the legwork yourself, and an attorney can work on your behalf while you recover from the injuries or get additional treatments
Our experienced lawyers will work around the clock to ensure that you are given the compensation you need.
Restitution from a Broken Surgical Screw Claim
The value of your defective surgical screw lawsuit will be determined by the insurance agent handling the case. You should know how he will weigh the value. He will look at the extent of your injuries, the impact they had on your life and career, your job type, your age, and more. If you intend to file a class action lawsuit, you should know that the compensation you win will be spread amongst all the individuals involved in the lawsuit. Class action claims may result in less winnings per person for this reason. We will pursue the following forms of restitution for your claim:
Medical expenses for surgery, hospitalization, medication and prescriptions, physical rehabilitation, and future medical treatments. It is important to understand that medical expenses have no upper limit in medical malpractice claims, so you can recover as much as possible.
Lost wages: If you were out of work for a period of time because of your injuries, or if you will not be able to work in the future due to recovery time or other medical treatments, your wages can be reimbursed.
Pain and suffering: You can receive coverage for psychological damages, such as fear, anxiety, PTSD, and mental stress. However, in medical malpractice lawsuits, these damages are capped at $250,000.
Punitive damages: Punitive damages are additional forms of monetary compensation that are handed out in times of gross negligence or the intent to cause harm. However, only an expert lawyer can win these for you, as many courts see them as excessive.
Wrongful death damages: If a family member or loved one passed away because of the negligent actions of a doctor, you could have funeral and burial expenses covered, as well as a loss of consortium, loss of inheritance and expected savings, pre-death pain and suffering, pre-death medical expenses, and more.
The average value of a broken surgical screw claim will vary. Some cases result in long lasting injuries and compromise your mobility, while others do not. It is possible for a claim to be worth more than $1,000,000, but equally possible for you to only receive less than $50,000. Your attorney will be able to tell you how much your claim is worth.
Deadline to Sue for a Surgical Screw Malpractice Claim
California’s laws state that medical malpractice lawsuits must be filed within 1 year of the discovery of the injury, or 3 years after the injury itself. This means that if you did not notice that there was a problem stemming from the spinal surgery until 2 years after you had the screw inserted, you can still legally sue. However, if you went to the doctor and discovered there was a problem issue but chose instead to just live with it, you would have a reduced statute.
It is possible for the statute of limitations to be extended past the deadline. This can occur if you were under 18 years old when the incident happened, as minors cannot legally sue and can wait until they turn legal age to do so. The surgery could also have left you physically or mentally incapacitated, which would cause the statute to not count down until you return to health and functionality. Additionally, the doctor must be present in California – if he leaves, you can wait until he returns before the statute will count down.
Often, victims and patients do not know what the statute of limitations is or how much time is left on their claims. The main reason claims don’t result in compensation is due to the statute of limitations expiring. We promise to file everything on time and ensure that you miss no deadlines at all.
Why Choose Us
There’s no better firm around than the Downtown LA Law Group. We have a history of winning medical malpractice cases and we will stop at nothing to ensure that your claim is a success. Our attorneys are aggressive and will fight for every penny you deserve. To set up a free legal consultation and to learn more about our zero fee guarantee, call our law offices any time.