Visitor Question

Injured due to a nurse’s negligence at my dermatologist’s office…

Submitted By: Meghan (Los Angeles, CA)

I was at my dermatologist’s office for a follow up after having stitches in my upper right eyelid. The nurse cleaning the stitches caused a magnifying light fixture to fall on my face, causing bruising, headaches, and dizziness for the weeks following the incident.

About a week later, I chose to pay out-of-pocket for a CT scan, to make sure there were no larger underlying problems causing the persistent headaches.

I am interested in getting money from the doctor’s office to at least cover the expense of the CT scan and doctor visits, but I’m not sure if I should sue the office for negligence, or just the additional medical expenses. I am also not sure how to approach a lawyer or the doctor’s office about this matter. Any suggestions? Thanks.

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 Meghan,

You may not have to sue anyone. There are some options you may want to consider before retaining an attorney…

It is obvious from the facts you present the light in your doctor’s office fell onto your face, causing injuries. It is very likely the nurse informed the doctor the light fell onto your face. Whether or not the nurse told the doctor you were injured isn’t known. In any event, there is no dispute the light injured you.

It is important to know whether your injuries were immediately apparent after the light fell, or if the bruising and lacerations appeared some time after you left the doctor’s office.

Go back to the doctor. Talk with him and tell him you were injured at his office, and as a result had reasonable tests performed, including a CT Scan. Your claim will be more viable if you show the CT Scan was performed after being prescribed by another doctor. Ask the dermatologist to cover these costs.

When visiting with the dermatologist, bring along copies of your medical records from the doctor who ordered the CT Scan. In the records will be a notation that you presented with headaches after an object fell onto your head. In that case, the doctor believed a CT Scan was medically appropriate.

At a minimum, the dermatologist is bound to pay for the CT Scan and other related expenses, such as lost wages (if you had to take time off from work for the CT Scan, or to visit with the doctor).

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: September 15, 2014

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