Should I Contact A Lawyer?

posted 2 years ago in Family
Post # 2
Member
191 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: March 2015

Try the board first maybe? That way if you’re not satisfied, you took the proper steps before contacting a lawyer. 

Post # 3
Member
151 posts
Blushing bee

I don’t think you have much of a case against the doctor.  Malpractice is defined as medical negligence resulting in injury.   Even though you think it is obvious, this probably doesn’t actually rise to the level of negligence.  Moreover, it sounds like there was no injury.  Just putting your son at risk of potential injury is not actionable.  And being rude to you certainly isn’t actionable either.  What would you seek to gain from a lawsuit?  It sounds like trying to contact the office manager to apologize or maybe refund your co-pay is probably your best bet.

Post # 4
Member
440 posts
Helper bee

I broke my shoulder snowboarding 2 years ago.  When I went to emerg, they told me that nothing was wrong, even after X-rays. 

I went to Dominican shortly after and was in crazy pain for the week (but nothing a few drinks couldn’t help!) 

when I got back, I made an appointment with my fam Dr and he sent me for an MRI. As soon as it was done, I knew something was really wrong by how nice the techs were being (all of a sudden helping me off the gurny, etc. 

Turns out I had to see an orthopaedic surgeon as well, but there was damage to my rotator cuff and bicep too and he was worried about surgery. 

I was in physio for a LONG time after that since I should have been placed in a sling the day it happened (instead of swimming, dancing, etc). 

But the the thought of suing never crossed my mind… I’m not the first person I know that this (or something similar) has happened too. Medicine isn’t perfect 🙁 

Post # 6
Member
151 posts
Blushing bee

majorairhead:  I also feel that doctors get away with a lot of incidence is such as this and do not have to pay the consequences in any way.

What consequences do you want the doctor to pay for?  Your son did not have any secondary injuries due to the misdiagnosis.  Unless you can prove it was due to negligence – which is a higher standard than you might expect – you are not entitled to any kind of compensation.  If doctors were forced to “pay the consequences” of every misdiagnosis (even those that did not result in any damage or injury), it would be completely untenable for anyone to practice medicine.  Your doctor is not an infallable psychic – misdiagnoses happen all the time.  You might be owed an apology for their rude behavior, but that is it.<br /><br />Here is some more information that might be helpful: http://www.injuriesboardadvice.com/claim-compensation-for-misdiagnosis-of-broken-bone/

Post # 6
Member
5692 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

It’s unreasonable to expect an apology from anyone working in a doctors’ office because an apology can be interpreted as an admission of liability– meaning, if they apologize, you could decide to use that apology against them in court one day. So let the notion of an apology go. It’s not going to happen.  Even a refund of a copay might be an unreasonable expectation simply because that could be mis-interpreted by a court.

And you also have to let the “could have’s” go because courts don’t deal with “could have’s”.  Your son could have injured himself further playing at PE but he didn’t.  He could have hurt himself even worse but he didn’t.  It’s hard not to think of these things, especially when you are a parent, but you have to let them go or you’re just going to make yourself angrier.  Let go of who is “responsible” because the extent of your damage is really just some frustration, the amount of time between incorrect diagnosis and correct diagnosis is very short in terms of the medical world (it’s not like he was walking around on a fracture for 3 years or left for 3 days with blood shooting out of an artery), and the nature of the injury makes it one that is relatively difficult to diagnose with accuracy until some time has passed to let the swelling and inflammation subside.  It sucks, but sometimes there are sucky situations that are nobody’s fault, or where the damage caused is so minimal that it doesn’t really matter who is to blame (or even if anyone is actually to blame). This is one of those situations.

My advice: find another doctor and move on.

Post # 7
Member
323 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2015

majorairhead:  As a lawyer, I’d recommend finding a new doctor and moving on.  Any sort of compensation you would get (which would be negligible, if anything), would be offset by the YEARS it would take for anything to happen with this case, as well as the very high cost of retaining a lawyer.  To me, it wouldn’t be worth it.  If it is to you, I’d make a consultation with an attorney who specializes in med mal rather than ask people who might not be experts in this area.

Post # 8
Member
864 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2015

majorairhead:  

Horseradish:  hit the nail on the head.

it sucks that your son had to be in pain longer than necessary; however, nothing came out of it except a lot of frustration and a prolonged visit to the ortho. he didn’t injure himself worse, he doesn’t currently have arthritis, etc. i would review the doctor’s office if possible, and find another doctor in order to avoid future issues.

Post # 9
Member
889 posts
Busy bee

I am a lawyer but this comment in no way should be considered legal advice.  I agree with PPs in that a medical malpractice case is tough one to prove because you have to definitively show that the care provided to your son failed to meet the “standard of care” which is evidenced by testimony of other physicians thereby resulting in injury.  You get were I’m going.    

That said, I would send a very strongly worded letter to the physician describing exactly what happened and demanding to speak with the managing physician.  The fact that you were treated rudely, while frustrating, is irrelevant to a medmal claim.  I would give him/her a deadline to respond and state that you will take your matter to the medical board if you don’t hear back by the deadline.  Or if you don’t believe that a meeting with the managing physician would provide you with a satisfactory outcome, I would go directly to the medical board and if you’re getting the run around from them, send them a complaint letter via certified mail.  I don’t know what country/state you are in, but most medical boards are required to investigate a complaint.  

I’d hate to see you waste money on a lawyer (again, I AM a lawyer) at this point.  

Best of luck!

Post # 11
Member
2580 posts
Sugar bee

In Canada there was a story recently that a lab had mixed up the results  of womens mammograms.One lady was told she had cancer when she didn’t, and removed both her breasts. The lady that  she got mixed up with had cancer but was told she didnt so she never recieved treatment. These are people that need lawyers 

Post # 12
Member
2098 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

Idk man, my parents couldn’t even get a successful malpractice suit going when a famous children’s hospital left clamps on my youngest sister’s head too long while doing a surgery when she was an infant causing burns that have left noticeable scars. I think you’re better off just finding a new doctor.

Post # 13
Member
1441 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

Speaking as a lawyer, there is likely nothing a lawyer can do for you.  No one can force them to apologize.  Just find a new doctor.

Post # 14
Member
5207 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: February 2013

majorairhead:  I’m sorry your son had to suffer through that much pain before receiving a proper diagnosis and treatment. That said – do you know the names and titles of who exactly told you it was “just a sprain”? In my experience the person who gets the final say in what the imaging shows is the radiologist who reads the x-ray. Period. The doctor or nurse practitioner orders it, the tech performs the procedure, the radiologist reads and interprets the findings, then dictates a report which is in turn sent back to the ordering physician. It’s a tedious chain. A secretary should never be giving test results. I spent many years as a medical receptionist in several offices and it was always policy to tell the patient that you would have the doctor or nurse call them back to discuss test results, no exceptions.

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