Medical Malpractice/Medical Malpractice
I had gone to the Urgent Care at a facility because my finger tip was in pain and did not work/bend at all. The doctor took an xray and seen that it wasn't broken. He never prescribed me any pain medication, he just told me to see my regular doctor in the same facility in a few weeks. I scheduled an appointment stating I had already gone to urgent care there, and got in to see her a couple days later. I told her about urgent care, I was in a lot of pain and she never prescribed me anything either. She scheduled another xray and an MRI, so the results could be seen by the ortho doctor. They scheduled me 30 days out, when the appointment day came, they called me and rescheduled it for another 15 days. By the time I got to see them, it was April. They sent me to the surgeon and he got me into surgery in within 4 days. The surgeon was upset that they treated me so poorly, he said if they would have done something, he could have just reconnected the tendon, but it had gone untreated for so long that the tendon retracted into my hand and I needed several surgeries. I had surgery on April 21st to put in a hunters rod, and another surgery on September 3rd for tendon reconstruction, which took out a tendon from my fore arm and replace it. I am an Accounting student, so this injury has set me back a year in school. Surgery in September caused me to drop all of my classes because I couldn't type, write, or even drive to school. I am currently in physical therapy because there was so much scar tissue and it doesn't work. They are talking about surgery #3. I was wondering if I should be contacting a malpractice lawyer. What would the compensation be if I won, ballpark figure? I just want to see if it is worth going to court over.
Hi Jackie: Just based on the story you tell, and without hearing the other side, it does sound to me as if you are a victim of sub-par medical care. The Urgent Care doctor wouldn't have responsiblity in my opinion because he is just looking for acute problems and doesn't have the same duty as an orthopedic surgeon. Telling you to see your own doctor about the problem probably absolves him/her of responsibility. A medical malpractice case won't work just based on failure to prescribe pain meds. Here's the deal: They have people with serious life threatening problems, problems far more serous than somebody with an injured finger tip. So they put you at the end of the line. That delay resulted in your problem becoming far more involved than it should have been, I would agree that is the case. In the ideal World, or the way I would handle it if it was my finger in my town is, I would go directly to the hand surgeon. I would have an MRI within a couple of days. I would have had surgery a couple days later. Unfortunately, that level of service was not available to you. Bottom line is this: a lawsuit would be vigorously defended, it would cost your lawyers 10s of thousands to pursue the case (cost of expert witnesses, litigation costs, etc.) and unless the damages are at least maybe $250K, it just isn't worth it to pursue. I am 99.9% certain that no lawyer would be interested in the case, unlessyou were a pro quarterback and this was your throwing hand or a famous piano player. Sorry, I don't see any legal recourse even though you did suffer from less than optimal medical care.