You are only able to collect damages if the doctor committed malpractice. A bad result is not necessarily malpractice. You need to see an experienced malpractice attorney to obtain and review your records, and then if an expert feels there was a deviation from accepted medical standards of care, and you have permanent damages, as described, your attorney can file suit on your behalf. If your should replacement was work related, you should also hire a workers comp attorney.
Medicine is not an exact science, and not all surgeries have great outcomes. To determine if your surgeon was negligent, your medical records would have to be reviewed by an experienced medical malpractice attorney.
DISCLAIMER: David J. McCormick is licensed to practice law in the State of Wisconsin and this answer is being provided for informational purposes only because the laws of your jurisdiction may differ. This answer based on general legal principles and is not intended for the purpose of providing specific legal advice or opinions. Under no circumstances does this answer constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship.
You need to seek follow up treatment to make sure that the damage is really permanent. Nerves can improve up to a year following the procedure. Make sure that your doctor has prescribed physical therapy and get a second opinion. You should also talk to a local lawyer.
I assume that you have had nerve conduction studies to determine the extent of the damage. Do you know if the nerve was injured as opposed to severed? In the latter case, you would likely have a viable medical malpractice claim. If the nerve was only injured by pressure, the case would be more problematic. Consult with a local experienced medical malpractice attorney ASAP.
Complications arising during surgery can be the result of predictable risks and not caused by the doctor's negligence. Nonetheless, your condition is serious enough that you should have it evaluated by a competent medical malpractice law firm. Your medical records need to be reviewed to discover the nature of the nerve damage, its cause, and the likely prognosis for it. In Minnesota it will be necessary to have the case reviewed by a surgeon in the same field to determine if the standard of care was breached in your case, how it was breached, and how that error caused your condition. We would be happy to look at the matter for you. You have a 4 year statute of limitations, but you should act sooner rather than later, because the evidence doesn't get any better over time.
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