- 2 years ago
- Wedding: August 2015
About a year ago, a doctor I was seeing for trigger point injections punctured my lung and it collapsed. I spent two days in the hospital and the recovery to get back to my normal health and activity took months. The worst part for me was that I trusted this doctor who was helping me with chronic pain that I’ll have for my whole life, and then I ended up in the hospital.<br />
Right after it happened, my father contacted the doctor to try to settle everything without lawyers because we just wanted my hospital bills and lost wages covered. Their response was that we had to sue them. After debating if I wanted to do a full malpractice suit, I decided I really just wanted back what I lost and sued in small claims court for $5,000.
After the doctor was served, someone from his office contacted me saying that $5,000 was “so much for them right now” and they wanted to settle for $2,500. This wouldn’t even cover my hospital bills, so I said absolutely not. They then started requesting tons of documentation, which for small claims court is kind of ridiculous. Yes, I would have to present these types of things in court, but we were settling and the point of settling for me was to get things done quickly and not have to go through the trouble of building a case.<br />
I sent them a spreadsheet of what I lost plus a summary from my insurance company of all the bills I had, which came to about $4,400 – so pretty much the $5,000 I’m suing for. I’m told that’s not acceptable and they need more documents. There’s no discovery period in small claims court, and I’m not required to turn anything over to them, so I’m getting annoyed at having to do the work of preparing for court. I’m fed up, so I write a pretty strongly worded email outlining everything that happened to me, how I’m only suing for what I lost, and that they’re being outrageous for making me do all this work for a settlement, because now the settlement is not mutually beneficial, and if they are going to continue to make me jump through hoops we should just go to court. I wrote that I would get a letter from my employer for lost wages, but after that I won’t be turning over anything else.<br />
I don’t hear from them for a week, even though I called and left messages.
Today I called again and spoke to the woman I’ve been dealing with. She proceeds to lecture me on the “real reason” I’m not suing for more and how I “don’t have a case.” She really lays into me about how I knew the risks of the procedure (even though there is NOTHING in writing stating that collapsed lung is a possible complication and I have no recollection of him specifically saying I might get a collapsed lung) and implies that I should be grateful that they’re willing to give me anything at all. I’ve been really stressed out about a lot of things lately, so I barely even argued back. I just repeated that I’m suing for what I lost and I’m willing to settle for $4,000 if that will end things quickly.
Now I’m mad at myself for everything I didn’t say back. I should have told her that whether or not I have a case is for a court to decide, not her. I should have told her to stop trying to make me feel guilty for wanting back what I lost, and that she was lucky I wasn’t suing for more. I should have called her out for trying to bully me into submission. I wish I hadn’t said I’d settle for $4,000, but a big part of me just needs this particular stress to go away.<br />
I don’t even know why this is getting to me soooo much, but now I”m at work holding back tears.