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Surgical Errors & Malpractice Claims

Surgical errors are among the most common types of medical malpractice claims. Whether it is emergency surgery, elective surgery, or a biopsy, medical professionals have a duty to prevent you from harm in the operating room. This duty of care applies to patients treated in hospitals, doctors’ offices, or outpatient surgical centers.

If you or a loved one suffers from a surgical error, you could be entitled to compensation. A surgical error lawyer helps you understand your rights under New Mexico law. To schedule a free consultation about compensation for medical malpractice, contact the Kemmy Law Firm at 575-222-8549 or reach out online.

What Are Surgical Errors?

A surgical error is a mistake made during a surgery that is not a known procedure risk. Although even the most diligent surgeon cannot promise a flawless operation, surgical errors are preventable through proper training, protocol, and execution.

Wrong Site, Procedure, and Patient Errors

According to the federal government’s Patient Safety Network, three types of surgical errors occur when there are “serious underlying safety problems.” Called “never errors” (because they should never happen), wrong site, procedure, and patient errors occur when medical professionals fail to uphold their duty of care.


Wrong-site surgical errors include operating on the incorrect body site or the opposite side of the intended surgery. An example of a wrong-site error would be a neurosurgeon operating on the incorrect side of a patient’s spine.

Wrong Procedure

Wrong procedure errors are those that involve an incorrect operation. An example of a wrong procedure would be removing a healthy appendix instead of a cancerous lesion on the bladder.

Wrong Patient

This type of surgical error occurs when doctors operate on the wrong patient. For example, two patients with the same last name undergo the other person’s intended procedure.

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Are Surgical Errors Common?

Medical negligence, including surgical errors, is the third-leading cause of death in the United States. The Patient Safety Network reports that “never errors” occur in one out of 112,000 surgeries. The PSN acknowledges that these numbers only include operating rooms in participating hospitals.

When you consider surgical centers, private practices, clinics, and military hospitals, the number of surgical errors is likely much higher.

When Is a Surgical Error Considered Malpractice?

All surgical procedures carry some level of risk. However, reckless or grossly negligent medical providers can be accountable when they deviate from accepted standards of care.

Standard of care refers to the accepted diagnostic and treatment process that a similarly qualified surgeon would practice under the same or similar circumstances.

Medical negligence is not limited to performing surgery on the wrong side, body part, or patient. Any deviation from accepted standards of medical care could be grounds for medical malpractice. For example, leaving tools, gauze, or other materials inside a patient.

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Common Injuries from Surgical Errors

Substandard surgical care often results in harm to the patient. As surgical error attorneys, we have seen many types of injuries in medical malpractice cases.


Anesthesia errors, lack of oxygen during surgery, nerve damage, or removing the wrong limb or body part can result in temporary or permanent disability.


Improper closing techniques, an unnecessarily large incision, and other surgical errors can cause disfigurement and scarring.

Internal Bleeding

Internal bleeding, caused by careless incisions and other negligent acts, can lead to organ failure or loss.


Some surgical errors cause so much damage that the patient dies.

Another type of injury is a medical condition that worsens due to surgical error. For example, a surgeon fails to remove a malignant tumor, causing a patient to die from cancer.


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If you’re looking for a law firm, where you’re not just another client. I can say from personal experience, you have found the right place at The Kemmy Law Firm. Everyone there always treated us amazingly. Not at any time were we in the dark, not knowing what was going on. Either Tom, Nick or Melissa would give us updates often on the case and explain to us the next steps. Which this made us feel like we were the only case they had. They fought for us as if they were fighting for their own family. They were compassionate about making sure we were going to be all right during the case as well as the years after the case. We are so thankful we found the Kemmy Law Firm and you will be too. Thank you Tom, Nick, and Melissa and everyone at The Kemmy Law Firm.

  Stacey Mitchell   |   07.19.2019   |   See All Reviews

Deadline for Filing a Medical Malpractice Suit

Surgical errors cause harm, but injuries are not always immediately apparent. However, you have only three years to file a medical malpractice case under New Mexico law. This deadline begins from the date of the alleged malpractice, not when you notice symptoms.

As experienced surgical error attorneys, we encourage you to reach out as soon as you suspect that something went wrong during your operation or procedure. If you wait too long and miss the deadline to file, you may not recover compensation.

Recoverable Damages from a Surgical Error Case

You have the right to pursue economic and non-economic damages in a surgical error case. Your damages depend on the nature, extent, and severity of your injuries.

Economic Damages

  • Medical expenses (current and future)
  • Lost wages
  • Reduced or lost earning capacity

Non-Economic Damages

  • Pain and suffering
  • Disability
  • Disfigurement
  • Reduced enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium

If a loved one died due to a surgical error, you could be entitled to damages from a wrongful death claim. The Kemmy Law Firm handles all types of medical malpractice cases, including those that involve a patient’s surviving family members.

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The Kemmy firm secured an $8 Million settlement on behalf of a client who suffered a brain injury when basic safety rules were violated.


How a Surgical Errors Lawyer Can Help

Surgical errors have harmful and even fatal consequences. However, proving medical malpractice or negligence is a complex legal process.

In our experience, negligent medical professionals do not admit liability or wrongdoing. It is up to an experienced surgical errors attorney with the necessary resources to investigate and pursue the compensation you deserve.

What We Do

With over five decades of combined legal experience, the Kemmy Law Firm works tirelessly to help victims of medical malpractice and other personal injuries. We’re not afraid to take on powerful defendants. We protect your rights and help you recover compensation for your physical and emotional injuries.

Our surgical error lawyers:

  • Identify all liable parties, such as surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, and hospital administrators
  • Collect medical records, test results, notes, and other documentation
  • Secure expert testimony from similarly qualified surgeons or medical professionals
  • Assess all damages

Most surgeons carry medical malpractice insurance. Our first attempt to recover compensation would be filing a claim against this coverage. We’ll take your case to court if we cannot negotiate a fair settlement.

About Our Firm

The Kemmy Law Firm has recovered over $50 million in damages for clients injured through negligence or wrongdoing. You’re invited to read about our case results here.

Our family-run law firm handles cases ranging from catastrophic injury claims to complex business matters, with locations in West TX, Hobbs, NM, Midland-Odessa, and across the Permian Basin.

You pay no fees unless we win or settle your case.

Call Today for a Free Consultation

When a negligent surgeon causes injury to you or a loved one, it’s time to call a dedicated medical malpractice attorney. Call the Kemmy Law Firm today at 575-222-8549 for a free consultation, or connect with us online.

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  • Avatar R N ★★★★★ 2 months ago
    Nick was very easy to deal with. Very professional and understood the case very well. I hope to not have to work with him again (because not wanting another injury), but, if I do, I will work with again. Thanks for everything!
  • Avatar Manuel Arteaga ★★★★★ 2 months ago
    We were looking for someone to takeour case and We were unresponsive from some layers, either from well recogniced firms and I'm so grateful for that because since the first day that we spoke with Nick we knew that we will be well … More represented. He was very honest, clear, diligent and communicative thru the process. His work ethics are first class. I put him as a role model for my kids to know How a Profesional Person should be. Words are less of how greatfull we are to count with Him to represent us. Thank you Nick and your Team. Many Blessings!
  • Avatar Cynthia Garza ★★★★★ 9 months ago
    This law firm is professional , diligent and cares about their client. They were
    able to settle our suit at the first round of mediation. We were well informed about the process and knew what to expect.. The staff kept us informed and responded
    … More in a timely fashion to all correspondence .
  • Avatar Stuart Kunkel ★★★★★ 10 months ago
    I should have called Kemmy Law Firm, P.C. first
    For six months I have been dealing with an insurance company that would not reimburse me for a rental car I paid for out of pocket.
    I spoke to 10 different attorneys and nobody could help
    … More me.
    Then I called the Kemmy Law Firm, P.C. during a 15 minute phone call I got a Professional, Direct, Legal consultation that set me on the right course to handle my situation.
    The Kemmy Law Firm, P.C. is Polite, Respectful, and Sincerely Care about You enough to explain the legality of the Law with patience.
  • Avatar Jerry Guillen ★★★★★ 10 months ago
    Tom Kemmy helped me with a case about 20 years ago involving an insurance claim I had issues with and we were able to get the insurance to pay their part. I was very satisfied with Tom’s service. Also throughout the years since Tom has … More referred me and guided me in the right direction for legal questions. He is certainly a great person also because I personally know of him helping a grieving family that suffered the loss of 2 family members and he helped them gracefully. Thanks Tom for all you do.

Contact Kemmy Law Firm Today

(575) 222-8549 ONLINE FORM

Get a free consultation. We do not charge up-front fees, and you owe nothing unless you recover compensation.

When you work with us at Kemmy Law Firm, you are working with a family run firm with more than 50 years of combined experience. We are dedicated and successful trial attorneys practicing in West TX, Hobbs, NM, Midland-Odessa, and across the Permian Basin. Our team handles everything from catastrophic injury claims to complex business matters. We are here to fight for you. We dedicate our time and attention to your case and use every resource available to maximize your claim and obtain the best possible outcome.