Visitor Question

ER overlooked my broken foot?

Submitted By: Katie (Murrells Inlet, SC)

I fell and broke my foot. I went to the emergency room, where I was told I was fine and given no medicines, ace bandages or crutches. The injury slowed me down tremendously. As a result, I had a hard time making it to tinkle on time and wet myself slightly. This caused a skin breakdown that lead to surgery, due to the location. It was the most humiliating experience of my life.

Later on, in April, I found out the foot was actually broken when I got an x-ray for a diabetic foot ulcer. What do I do now? The ER totally missed my broken foot. What can I claim here? Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Katie,

To succeed in a medical malpractice claim against the doctor who treated you in the emergency room, as well as the hospital itself, will require medical proof confirming the doctor missed the diagnosis. This will be a challenge.

To secure such proof will require another doctor, preferably a radiologist, to read your X-rays and conclude your injury was sustained at or about the time you visited the emergency room.

If you are determined to proceed, you will likely need an attorney. An attorney can have issued a court ordered subpoena to the doctor who missed the diagnosis, as well as a subpoena duces tecum (that’s a subpoena for hospital medical records and other relevant documentation).

The subpoena duces tecum can also order the hospital to release to your attorney the X-rays taken at your initial hospital visit.

Your attorney can then have a radiologist review the X-rays to confirm the emergency room doctor missed the fracture. Moreover, if the initial doctor failed to order X-rays, that will be equally supportive of your claim for negligence.

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,

Published: June 20, 2014

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