Philadelphia Wrong Site Surgery Lawyer

Statistically speaking, wrong site surgery is the third most common type of preventable medical error in Philadelphia and all across Pennsylvania. Fortunately, patients who have suffered harm due to this type of medical malpractice and are represented by a Philadelphia wrong site surgery attorney are able to seek compensation for their injury and resulting damages.

Fact #1: More than 85 percent of all wrong site surgery lawsuits result in settlements or verdicts.


Now that we have established that (a) wrong site surgery is a common type of medical malpractice, and (b) you can sue a negligent physician, surgeon, doctor, nurse or any other healthcare provider for operating on the wrong organ or side of the body, let us explain what constitutes a wrong site surgery:

  • Operating on the wrong side of the body;
  • Operating on the wrong organ;
  • Operating on the wrong limb, including amputation of the wrong limb; and
  • Other surgical errors, in which a negligent or careless medical professional performs a surgery on a healthy organ or perfectly normal side of the body or limb instead of the injured or damaged one.


For those of you still thinking that wrong site surgeries are rare, you may want to learn more about the most common causes of this type of medical malpractice in order to understand that just about anyone can become a victim of it:

  • Incorrect or inaccurate instructions given to the surgeon by other members of hospital staff;
  • Marking the wrong side or part of the body;
  • Failure to clearly or properly mark the operation site;
  • Inattentiveness;
  • Failure to conduct proper pre-surgery verification procedures;
  • Inadequate or non-existent surgical safety checklist, which is mandatory in most hospitals in Pennsylvania;
  • Surgeon and other members of hospital staff time-crunched and under time pressure;
  • Lack of competency and/or experience in the team of surgeons;
  • Failure to verify proper site through marking or special systems;
  • Inadequate review of the patient’s medical records;
  • Failure to include the patient’s family members in pre-surgery consultations;
  • Failure to comply with federal and state pre-surgery protocols; and
  • Communication errors between the surgeon and other members of hospital staff.


When discussing wrong site surgery medical malpractice cases, it is impossible not to talk about the legal doctrine of “rep ipsa loquitor.” This may sound like a fancy Latin phrase that makes no sense, but it actually plays a vital role in medical malpractice lawsuits involving wrong-site surgery injuries.

“In a nutshell, the legal doctrine of rep ipsa loquitor applies to wrong site surgery cases in which the surgical error could not have occurred if the surgeon, nurse, doctor, or any other liable party was not negligent,” explains our experienced wrong site surgery attorney in Philadelphia at The Weitz Firm, LLC. In other words, you must be able to prove that some kind of negligence played a part in your wrong site surgery case to be eligible to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Fact #2: In rep ipsa loquitor cases, the negligent surgeon and other liable parties are more willing to settle a claim compared to wrong site surgery cases where liability is disputed or not clear.

Contrary to the popular belief, this legal doctrine does not apportion liability, but merely provides that you have established that at least one party is liable for your wrong site surgery injury, because it would not have occurred in the absence of negligence.

Fact #3: More often than not, if you have become a victim of a wrong site surgery, you may be able to sue the surgeon or team of surgeons who performed the procedure, as well as nurses, doctors, anesthesiologists and other medical professionals whose negligence caused this type of preventable medical error.

Do not let the liable parties off the hook. Schedule a free consultation with our Philadelphia wrong site surgery lawyer from The Weitz Firm, LLC, to discuss your situation. Let our attorneys establish liability and determine whether or not your medical malpractice case meets the legal definition of a rep ipsa loquitor case. Call our offices for a free case evaluation.



    We are highly selective in the cases we undertake to ensure that can give each client his full attention. You can schedule an appointment for a personal injury consultation at our Philadelphia office by calling us, or by filling out our online intake form.