Medical Malpractice/Hip surgery problem
Hello, Back in may 2011 i had a left hip revision. It was the same surgeon who put the hip in 12 years prior. About 8 months after the revision i started getting severe pain in the hip after being in the sitting position or after i bend over. It feels like it gets a catch in it. after i take 5 to 10 steps the pain isn't as bad. In august 2012 i go see the surgeon that did the surgery and was told the angle of the new cup was a little off so he prescribes me hydrocodone for the pain and refers me to another surgeon to do the surgery to fix it. The new doctor doesn't want to do the surgery because he says the bone would be to thin afterwards. He recommends physical therapy.
So i go see a 3rd doctor on my own. Pretty much was told the same thing. He says the angle of the cup wasn't to his liking, and the bone would be to thin after they chissle out the parts.
So i then talked to a lawyer today and was told malpractice cases are very hard to win but if i want to try i would need all
of my surgery records so they can have a expert review them and then decide if its a good case. Oh also it would cost me $2,500
for this expert no matter if i had a winnable case or not.
what to do ??? very frustrated !! Bill S.
Yes Bill, you were told the facts of life as it pertains to medical malpractice cases. By law you need to have a qualified medical expert on your side willing to say that your surgeon did the surgery negligently and that no reasonably competent surgeon would have made that mistake and, that you may have to deal with pain and disability as a result for even the rest of your life. I sure hope that is not the case and do I think there must be a surgeon somewhere who will tackle the problem and get you feeling well again. Anyhow, the defendant surgeon by his insurance company will have their own experts saying that although the result was not as hoped for, everything was done within the standard of care, there was no negligence and although you are left in a difficult situation, they are not legally responsible to pay you damages. Yes indeed, your expert will require payment and $2,500 is what I would expect, JUST TO START the case. Your lawyer then must spend thousands more on filing the case, questioning the other experts, spend hundreds of hours over months or even years working the case........and all for what? A slim chance of earning 40% of what might be awarded to you and a good chance that nothing would be awarded to you. So your lawyer looks and the risks and benefits of taking the case and says, "no thanks" in all likelihood. Frankly, med mal cases aren't workable for these reasons unless the damages are huge, way into the 6 figures at least and the negligence is simply inexcusable. I don't think we have those elements in your situation.
My advice would be that you keep shopping around for a lawyer. You may find one that is friendly with an ortho surgeon and who can just call up the doc and get a free opinion on whether negligence would have been involved. If you know that, then the lawyer would probably be willing to advance the costs to get a formal opinion. You also need an expert opinion that your problem can't be fixed. Otherwise, the damages will be limited and it wouldn't be worth the effort of an attorney. Consider that all the a med mal case can do for you is get you some money, if you could win it. But your far more important goal is to find a surgeon who can help you. If you don't have your health, well...............So at least spend the money, not much, to get your medical records from every doctor you have seen from the revision surgery to present. If you have the records with you at least you will get in the door because an attorney will be willing to look at them if you have them with you. There may be a smoking gun in those records somewhere that the attorney might notice. That might be enough to interest the attorney to pay for the expert review. But again, you need to fix that hip. That should be the number one concern. BY THE WAY, YOU BETTER CHECK THE STATUTE OF LIMITATION FOR YOUR STATE. THERE IS A TIME LIMIT TO COMMENCE A MALPRACTICE CASE. GOOGLE AS FOLLOWS:
[NAME OF YOUR STATE] STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS MEDICAL MALPRACTICE. IT MAY BE AS LITTLE AS ONE YEAR BUT I THINK THE CLOCK WOULDN'T START RUNNING UNTIL AUGUST OF THIS YEAR WHEN YOU LEARNED THAT SOMETHING WAS WRONG. Good luck
You're welcome. Good luck