My name is Lucie. My mother and I are looking for an attorney who would do a medical malpractice settlement with a Key West hospital for $200K-300K. Many lawyers’ companies told us we have a case but they only do settlements for one million and up, so we’ve decided to negotiate the settlement with the hospital ourselves. We’re are looking for someone who can write up Expert testimony for us.
My mom Eva had abdominal pain. First I took her to see a local physician, that was in the afternoon, and the doctor told her it is just a buildup of acid and gave her pills for acid and sent her home. She took a pill.
But a couple of hours later the pain was unbearable and my mom was crying and couldn’t walk, couldn’t sit, and couldn’t lay down, so I took her to the Emergency room. They gave her IV fluids and pain killers and did an x-ray, ultrasound, and a blood test (white blood cells were high).
A few hours later the doctor came to talk to us. He told us that my mom has stones in her gallbladder and he said they will not take her for the surgery even though she had a Gall bladder stone attack. He sent us home with pain killers only and said to call for an appointment with a local physician. That was midnight on Wednesday 10/13/2010. We made an appointment with a local physician for Monday.
On Sunday 10/17/2010 in the morning I had to bring my mom back to the emergency room because she couldn’t take the pain anymore. They called a doctor for surgery. They did an ultrasound test again which confirmed multiple stones in her gallbladder and they took her for surgery right away.
After the surgery the doctor came out to talk to me and ask how my mom was doing. First he said he couldn’t perform and had to stop the surgery from removing the gallbladder because the gallbladder was 3-4 times normal size and it was very infected, it was stuck to the stomach and liver and when he tried to remove it she started to bleed very bad.
He said if she would have gotten antibiotics on Wednesday 10/13/2010, her gallbladder would not have been so infected and huge, and he would have taken the gallbladder out right away.
He was asking questions about how long she was in pain and when it started etc. I told him everything about how three days prior they sent her home with pain killers only and he said she should have gotten antibiotics on Wednesday if not the surgery.
Why didn’t they do surgery 3 days ago? She was in constant pain for three days even with pain killers. After this my mom stayed in the hospital and she was released on Friday 10/22/2010 with a draining tube inside of her gallbladder, sticking outside until 11/19/2010.
On November 19th the doctor did a surgery to remove the gallbladder with stones. Surgery took a longer time because the gallbladder was still big. But they did remove the gallbladder by laparoscopy. She was released from the hospital the same day.
She was at home and in pain for another 3 weeks, taking pain killers, very depressed, weak, and she was not well at all. She has 8 scars on her stomach instead of 2 (if the doctor would have done something the first time on October 13th), she lost her job because she was home 6 weeks with the draining tube, the hospital is calling and wanted us to pay $30,000 for all the medical treatment and surgeries.
If the doctor would have done the right thing the first time the medical bills wouldn’t be nearly as much as they are now. What can we do? 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.
You and your mother have apparently gone through a most difficult time. We do hope she is on the road to recovery. You are seeking someone who can “write up Expert testimony for us”. Expert testimony is not written by any person other than the court reporter who might be taking the expert’s sworn pre-trial deposition or sworn testimony at trial. You also tell us you are “looking for an attorney who would do a medical malpractice settlement with a Key West hospital for $200K-300K”.
But in the very next sentence you tell us “we’ve decided to negotiate the settlement with the hospital ourselves”. As a result we are unable to tell if you are seeking our assistance to help find an attorney or to advise you how to handle you own case.
With a case which portends to be as serious as you believe you can be quite confident the hospital and doctor(s) are certainly not going to admit to any liability by way of Medical Malpractice. With over 30 years experience as a practicing attorney we can tell you the likelihood of that happening is infinitesimal. And with all respect they are not going to admit malpractice to two non-attorneys.
Why should they? If the doctor and hospital refuse to accept responsibility for their actions and all they have to fear are two non-attorneys, that practically speaking, they have nothing to be even slightly concerned about. We can say with great certainty the only way you are going to prove medical malpractice is to litigate; to file a lawsuit against them. The lawsuit though will not be a small claims case where you might conceivably represent yourselves.
It will be in the highest court in the State of Florida which has jurisdiction over the case. Accusing a doctor and hospital of malpractice is serious business and you can be sure the doctor and hospital will vigorously defend themselves using some of the brightest and experienced attorneys available to them. We empathize with your trouble and understand you have come to us to ask questions. We are glad you did. The best advice we can offer is to immediately, or as soon as is reasonably possible seek legal counsel.
There are many able and experienced medical malpractice personal injury attorneys in your area. We know that in almost all cases these fine attorneys will not charge you anything to sit with you in their office for an initial consultation. You can keep interviewing attorneys until you find one with whom you and your mom will feel comfortable.
We do advise you there exists a Statute of Limitations in the State of Florida. That means if you have not settled your cases with the doctor and hospital within 2 years to the day of the date your mother was first injured by the hospital and doctor, and have not filed a lawsuit(s) you may lose your rights to recover any damages. In other words if 2 years has passed and you have not settled or sued, it will be too late.
Learn more here: Healthcare Denials and Malpractice
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney.
Best of luck with your claim,
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