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What to know about spinal surgery cases

A study published in The Spine Journal took a look at malpractice cases involving spine surgeries from 2010 to 2014. The authors studied all 103 cases during that time period and adjusted financial awards based on 2016 values. On average, a case settled in Arizona or elsewhere resulted in $2.3 million for the plaintiff. If a plaintiff went to court and won, that person was given an average of $4.9 million by a jury.

In 34 percent of spine surgery malpractice cases, plaintiffs cited a lack of informed consent. In those cases, plaintiffs won an average of $2 million. If a case involved a complaint related to issues during the surgery itself, a plaintiff won an average of $3.6 million. Cases that involved orthopedic surgeons or nerve injuries to patients resulted in a higher level of compensation going to a plaintiff.

When it came to resolving cases, 75 percent of those that were studied were found in favor of the defendant. Cases in which the defendant won took an average of five and a half years to resolve. When the plaintiff won the case, it took roughly 4.3 years to resolve the matter. The study found that good communication as well as documented communication could reduce the odds of a lawsuit.

If a careless surgeon causes harm to a patient, that person may want to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit. It may be possible to win compensation for medical bills as well as for lost wages or lost future earnings if the surgeon was negligent either before or during a surgery. An attorney may help an injured patient establish that a practitioner was negligent through a review of the medical records and the testimony of medical experts.

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