Visitor Question

Medical Negligence in Back Injury Case…

Submitted By: Carol (North Wales BrItain)

I had a fall at work and was injured. I was pushed down the stairs and rushed to the hospital. I damaged my left knee and hurt my back. I told the hospital my legs were numb and I was in chronic pain. They told me that my back would settle down and I didn’t need an x-ray. I paid privatly for an operation to put my knee cap back in place but I’ve had major problems with my back for four years.

I asked for an x-ray and MRI scan but was turned down three times. I even offered to pay for it but was told it would make no difference as it was a circulation and vascular problem, not my spine. The problem started at christmas 2004 and in 2009 a pain consultant finally ordered an MRI scan. They found five damaged discs in my back and two discs were broken into the sciatic nerve. I was operated on straight away.

I’m now on crutches and my mobility is poor. I am still in chronic pain and am left with incontinence. After my operation I had a bad infection called discitis. I was in the hospital for six weeks.

I’m wondering if any of this constitutes medical negligence and if I have any recourse? 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 Carol,

Carol:

There are laws related to the time period in which one must either settle a claim or file a lawsuit when injured by the negligence or willful act of another.

If a claim is not settled within that period of time the injured party does not lose their right to continue to pursue the claim against the person or place which caused the injury, but they will have lost their right to file a lawsuit to collect money for the medical bills, out of pocket expenses incurred (such as the purchase of prescribed medications, bandages, and the like), and finally, for any wages lost while seeking treatment and recovering.

The period of time is called the Statute of Limitations. In almost all of the United States the Statute of Limitations for a Personal Injury is 2 years, in some states it’s 3 or 4 years.

The facts you present do not afford us enough information to determine if your fall down the stairs and resulting medical attention constituted medical negligence.

Regrettably, from the facts you present it appears your back injury occurred about 4 years ago. As a result, whether there existed medical negligence or not would be irrelevant. Your legal ability to file a lawsuit against your employer, or the physicians you believe were medically negligent, has likely already passed.

Your only recourse now would be to attempt to convince your employer to pay for all of your medical bills. Realistically, it appears from what you have told us that might not be possible.

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: July 21, 2011

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