Medical Malpractice/Undescended testicles never discovered
My son is 10 1/2 yrs old. He has been having urinary problems for over 2 1/2 yrs. His regular pediatrician sent us to a urologist 2 1/2 yrs ago where it was just written off that he was straining to go to the bathroom. For the past couple years, I was told to just keep giving urine samples which always came back fine. Fortunately, this past week, we finally were able to prove there was blood so we were again referred to the urologist, same office, different doctor since the previous doctor has since left. It was then discovered (completely unrelated to the urinary problems) that my son has both testicles undescended. Two doctors checked and though that "maybe" they could feel one in the abdomen but could not find the other at all. My son has had yearly check ups his whole life AND we saw a specialist and no one has ever noticed this. I am very upset that he is now at a higher risk for cancer and most likely infertile. I am waiting on the specialist for dates hopefully in the next month to have surgery. I'm wondering if I can sue for malpractice since this is now an issue my son will have to deal with for life.
Crystal: Firstly, the Statute of Limitations is similar to other states: It is 2 years but does not begin to run, in the case of a child, until the child reaches 18. In other words, your son would have until his 20th birthday to sue. But you shouldn't waste time. The medical group and or particular doctors involved in his care could retire, die, whatever. I would suggest that you even now, before the defintive and hopefully restorative surgery, start contacting medical malpractice lawfirms in your area. Phoenix or Tucson would have plenty of them. You will not pay any money to them ever so do not hesitate to do this. 95 out of 100 inquiries I get my answer is "this won't ever turn into a successful med mal case because of the cost, the liability, etc.". I am saying that this case could be an important case for your son.
The issues are as follows: (1) Were your son's doctors, even from time of his birth, negligent in not discovering the problem? In other words, would a reasonable competent doctor have be expected to diagnose the problem? Hard to figure this out since he saw several doctors over his 10+ years, discussed urological issues, must have been examined many times, and still this was not discovered. Any how is it that the parents did not notice it? I am not experienced in this particular medical issue but in any event, only a pediatrician could offer testimony as to whether the other pedicatricians were negligent.
(2) is the problem reversible or will there be lifelong disabilities as a result?
So, I would advise you to start contacting those lawfirms. Your "question" to me as you wrote it is clear enough. The lawyers will not want to take any action until the results to the surgery are known but I would get started now. I am in So. California and if you want my help to locate the best atty for the job in AZ (at no cost or obligation to you), let me know. Good luck. you can write directly to firstname.lastname@example.org