I went to the ER after I fell off the top of my full sized van. I fell on my wrist then onto my head, neck and ribs. I couldn’t move my wrist the pain was so extreme. I also couldn’t move my neck without pain, my wrist was swollen, and my head right above my temple was slightly bruising.
The ER did an MRI on my head injury and found nothing severe. They also did several ex-rays on my wrist and found one fracture. To make things worse I overheard the doctor ask the MRI tech if she thought I was faking the pain and the MRI tech said that she didn’t think so b/c my face turned red when I cried.
I saw a Dr about 3 days later and she also did 3 or so ex-rays on my wrist. She came to me and said that I had one fracture in my wrist, and spent the next 5 mins complaining about my smoking and said that most people would pick their wrist over smoking and left the room. Then I received a cast that covered my hand to my forearm.
Four weeks later I went to the same doctor for a follow-up. They again took 3 or so ex-rays and then took off my cast and put on a soft cast. I followed up again at the same office about 3 weeks later and this time I saw different doctor. He told me that the first MD I saw was just a doctor that came to their office as a temp. Then he told me that I also had a second break and that actually a piece of bone broke off of my bone on the other side of my wrist.
To sum things up, I just received my first surgery 5 1/2 weeks after the accident where the doctor removed a bone splinter that was causing pain and shaved one of my bones down to match the other broken bone in length.
My diagnoses went as follows (all from one fall): around august 1st 2013 I had one broken/fractured wrist bone; around October 2nd 2013 I had a second bone break off on the other side of the wrist; around January 15th a focal tear of the triangular fibrocartilage with contrast extravasation into the distal radioulnar joint, tear of the lunotriquetral ligament with contrast extravasation into the mid carpal row.
Do I have a malpractice case since the first 2 doctors didn’t diagnose the second break? I suffered a lot of pain unnecessarily. Thank you.
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Carol :(Bay County, Florida)
Before discussing those factors, it is important to understand the legal definition of medical malpractice…
Medical malpractice exists when the actions of a doctor or other medical provider are said to have deviated (usually downward) from the standard of medical care provided by other doctors who practice medicine in the local community.
In other words, there are standards which doctors adhere to in the proper treatment of patients. These standards can include anything from diagnoses, treatment, prescribed medications, and other actions considered appropriate by doctors who practice medicine in the local city, county, or state.
To succeed in your medical malpractice claim you will need proof that:
-Your second break could have been discoverable by most doctors practicing in your area.
-Your doctor failed to diagnose the injury.
-The failure to diagnose caused you unnecessary pain and discomfort.
-The pain and discomfort you sustained is substantial enough to warrant compensation.
Medical malpractice cases should never be handled without representation by an experienced medical malpractice attorney. Most doctors are heavily insured. Unlike car insurance, where an insurance company can settle a case even if their insured doesn’t want to, most doctors have the right to prevent their insurance company from settling.
As a result, most of med mal cases are hard fought. The last thing a doctor wants is to be “branded” as having committed medical malpractice.
For an attorney to accept your case, she will have to believe medical malpractice occurred AND the amount of compensation will be substantial enough to make accepting your case worth it. In other words, if your pain and suffering is relatively minor, and lasted a relatively short period of time, you probably won’t be able to find an attorney to accept your case. But it’s worth a shot.
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.
Best of luck,
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