Visitor Question

Compensation for pain due to brachealplasty surgery?

Submitted By: Anonymous (USA)

I had bilateral brachealplasty surgery at a major hospital in Chicago. I filed a claim directly with the hospital as time limitations on filing a suit had been passed. The hospital’s legal department does make direct payments and I have filed for payment for future surgery at $30,000, but now need the pain and suffering rate.

The original surgery was Sept 2011, at which time the scar was placed in the back of my arm instead of the inside of my upper arm. In April 2012, the chief of surgery tried to move the scar and it was only partially successful, still leaving extensive scarring. I am not headed for a 3rd surgery, but am requesting money to go outside the system to a specialist. The estimated cost of surgery is $30,000.

This all has caused me depression, 6 weeks of lost salary, risks associated with surgery are always present and given that this is the 3rd time, it must be considered. Recovery could also be unpredictable. I’m wondering what is the appropriate amount to ask for in the situation, taking into account my pain and suffering? I work in the health care industry and have reviewed all documentation.

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 Anonymous,

The first major consideration is the statute of limitations. Your facts indicate time limitations for filing a lawsuit passed. Once the statute of limitations has expired you’ve lost most, if not all of your negotiation leverage.

The hospital can refuse to settle your injury claim, or offer you an amount you believe is much too low for the compensable damages you sustained. Those damages can be your additional medical bills, out of pocket expenses for medications, costs of transportation to and from treatment, etc., your lost wages, and your pain and suffering.

Unfortunately, unless the hospital’s insurance company offers you a settlement you believe to be fair, you will have no legal way to challenge their offer. You might consider demanding a settlement amount somewhere in the area of 4 – 5 times the amount of your additional medical bills, and negotiating down from there. Doing so is a traditional way of settling your claim which will include all your damages.

You appear to have made a terrible mistake trusting the hospital and their legal department. Now all you can do is hope the hospital or its insurance company makes a fair offer of settlement. If not, there’s really nothing you can do about it. Definitely meet with an attorney to review your options.

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: October 17, 2013

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