Medical negligence occurs when a healthcare provider deviates from acceptable standards of practice. It could allow victims of negligence to recover compensation when it causes injuries, such as serious soft tissue damage. These injuries can be just as debilitating as fractures in some cases, especially if they aren’t recognized and properly treated in a timely manner.
Soft Tissue Damage as a Result of Medical Negligence
Some of the milder forms of soft tissue injuries include strains, sprains and pulled muscles.
Damage can be extensive, affecting:
- connective tissue;
- joints; and
In some cases they will heal on their own. But in more serious injuries, it may require surgery or extensive physical therapy to properly heal and to allow the patient to properly recover.
Tears or puncturing can be some of the types of damage sustained. It could be a surgical error in which a surgeon accidentally cut a muscle or a metal tool went through a tendon. Even an emergency situation where a doctor uses a tourniquet improperly, for example, could cause soft tissue damage.
There are additional complications that could occur from a soft tissue injury. Although rare, a bacterial infection could develop, such as the following, explained by the New York Times health guide, a “necrotizing soft tissue infection develops when the bacteria enters the body, usually through a minor cut or scrape. The bacteria begins to grow and release harmful substances (toxins) that kill tissue and affect blood flow to the area.” The most commonly known form of this is gangrene.
Complications of Soft Tissue Damage
Pain is a common long-term complication of soft tissue damage. When it’s chronic, it can affect an individual not only physically but emotionally as well. For instance, it can lead to depression. But it can also affect one’s ability to enjoy life or even to work.
Soft tissue damage can also cause stiffness, which can decrease mobility and range of motion. Certain tasks might become more difficult to perform. In some cases, severe damage may require amputation of the affected area. This in itself can create additional problems, both physically and psychologically. Scar tissue is another potential complication. This could hinder the patient’s ability to use his or her hand, arm or leg.
Seeking Compensation for Soft Tissue Damage
When medical malpractice such as a surgical error is believed to have caused soft tissue damage, it’s important to seek advice from an attorney familiar with malpractice cases.
With the help of legal counsel, patients can determine their rights to file a claim and which parties they may hold liable. But an attorney can also explain the types of damages that may be recoverable related to their soft tissue injuries.
The impact of debilitating or disabling tissue damage may warrant compensation. This could include pain and suffering, permanent disability and in some cases (such as when amputation becomes necessary), disfigurement.
Of course, medical costs and lost wages would also be addressed in a medical malpractice claim. The psychological impact of injuries sustained may also lead to compensation for mental anguish or emotional distress.
Talk to an attorney at the Becker Law Firm to gain a better understanding of your rights in these cases. We can also explain how to protect those rights and what legal options may be available. Call us today at (440) 252-4399 to set up a consultation with a lawyer.