Broken Bolts in my Femur...
(Goose Creek, SC, USA)
On June 13 I was in a car accident. I broke my femur due to the airbag under my dash. I was taken to a teaching hospital after the accident and the whole time I was in the ER they kept giving me a drug called Ultram. I kept on telling them that it was not helping me with the amount of pain I was in. I started yelling at them and screaming as loud as I could until they gave me the right medicine for my pain. It took them 5 hours to get me relief.
They put a rod in my femur, two bolts at the top of the femur and two bolts at my knee. It's been 5 months since the surgery and I still have severe pain when I walk on it or put weight on it.
My doctor here did another surgery on December 9th, and come to find out both of the bolts by my knee were broken in half, causing my femur to re-break, setting my healing back another 3 months. I was at the hospital's mercy due to being from out of town. They did a hatchet job on my femur, I broke my tibia as well and instead of putting plates in they used a ton of screws.
Every doctor that has seen my ankle said they should have never used screws in my ankle. I want to file a lawsuit against the hospital and doctor that put cheap hardware in my leg. I also want to file suit on the company that made the cheap bolts that broke. Do I have a case?
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ANSWER for "Broken Bolts in my Femur...":
Mike (Goose Creek, SC, USA):
From the facts you present it would appear you have a very strong case against the hospital and its medical personnel. Make sure you secure copies of your all of your medical records.
Because of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, also known as "HIPAA", it will be necessary for you to sign multiple medical releases. Signing those releases is perfectly normal. Make sure you read every word in every release. You do not want to sign any document which could be construed as releasing the hospital or its doctors and employees from liability.
Because of the seriousness of your case it would be a good idea if before you signed medical releases you copied each one of them. If the hospital balks at giving you copies, take them, find quiet corner somewhere and take photos of them with your camera. Doing so is not illegal in the State of South Carolina.
Once accomplished make an appointment with a personal injury attorney. Most will not charge any fee for an initial office consultation. In a case like yours you will require the services of a personal injury attorney.
You don't want to attempt to represent yourself. Regardless of how intelligent you may be, unless you are represented by a licensed personal injury attorney you will be devoured by the hospital's legal counsel.
A personal injury attorney will not charge any fee to you until and unless she settles or wins your case. Then you will be required to pay a fee of anywhere from 33% to 40% of the gross settlement amount. That will be a bargain in an excellent and complicated case like yours.
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.
Best of luck,
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