Can I sue the hospital for not diagnosing me correctly? 16 Answers as of May 31, 2013

I thought it was my gallbladder. They said no and sent me home again with the same diagnosis. I got worse and went to a different hospital. They did an ultrasound and it came back that I had gallstones and my gallbladder needed to be removed. Can I sue the first hospital when they sent me home twice even when I suggested it was my gallbladder?

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Paris Blank LLP
Paris Blank LLP | Irving M Blank
Probably not, but even if you could, it is very doubtful that you have sufficient damages to warrant the expense of bringing such a suit.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 11/30/2011
Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator
Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator | Bernard Huff
Consult with a plaintiff's medical malpractice lawyer for sound legal advice and direction regarding your medical problem and the diagnosis which was done by the first medical facility.
Answer Applies to: Indiana
Replied: 11/30/2011
Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
Yes you can but what are your damages ? a few days delay? Don't lose sight of the fact that when you sue you have to have damages not just hurt feelings or disappointment. Suing a hospital might take 2 years and $20000 or more of a lawyers time to prosecute the case. You would have to hire a doctor to assist with testimony and that may cost another $10000 for his services. So, you see, you cant get anywhere filing lawsuits for small matters.
Answer Applies to: North Carolina
Replied: 11/30/2011
Lombardi Law Firm
Lombardi Law Firm | Steve Lombardi
You can sue but I would not recommend it nor would I suggest it. You really don't have any quantifiable damages and so far you've stated nothing that indicates the first hospital was negligent. A non diagnosis doesn't mean they missed something. It simply means the tests didn't show anything at that point in time. Remember you said it: "I got worse..." Time to move on.
Answer Applies to: Iowa
Replied: 11/30/2011
Law Offices of Michael Stephenson
Law Offices of Michael Stephenson | Michael Stephenson
It is possible. The critical question in any medical malpractice case is whether the hospital staff adhered to the proper "standard of care" in caring for you. The failure to diagnose does not in itself mean that they committed malpractice. However, if the staff failed to take the appropriate steps, and this failure lead to the failure to diagnose, then you may have a lawsuit.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/30/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    For a medical malpractice case to be worth pursuing there must be substantial permanent injuries. These kinds of cases are expensive and labor intensive. Only a severe injury warrants the costs, commitment and risk of loss that an attorney must assume.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 11/30/2011
    R. D. Kelly Law Firm, P.L.L.C.
    R. D. Kelly Law Firm, P.L.L.C. | Robert Kelly
    Medical malpractice cases in the great State of Washington are governed by statutes. RCW 7.70. (http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=7.70). The main question is usually whether the health care provider failed to follow the accepted standard of care in the field. RCW 7.70.030. There can also be causes of action for health care providers making promises they didn't fulfill, or acting without the informed consent of the patient. These cases are extremely difficult and require the testimony of an expert witness. Miller V. Jacoby, 102 Wn. App. 256 (2000). (You can read relevant cases at the MRSC website.) Doctors are trained to work cooperatively (unlike lawyers who are trained to be adversarial), so doctors are often reluctant to testify against each other. Doctors who are willing to testify as expert witness usually charge significant quantities of money to do so, and often must be flown in from out of State.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 11/30/2011
    Downriver Injury and Auto Law | Michael Heilmann
    No, you have not suffered any damages if the surgery that you received is the same surgery you required when you first went in. In either case, you required surgery.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/29/2011
    Joel H. Schwartz, P.C.
    Joel H. Schwartz, P.C. | Steven A. Schwartz
    In every medical malpractice claim, you must have liability AND damages. You must prove the medical facility gave you substandard care AND you must be injured by that negligence. In this case, the facility may have gotten the diagnosis wrong, although medicine is not an exact science and their approach may have been appropriate. Assuming you can prove wrongdoing, you must then show how you were hurt by that misdiagnosis. It sounds like you had a gallbladder issue where even if it was diagnosed by the first medical facility properly, you still would have had the problem - so no substantial damages. Doesn't sound like you have a claim worthwhile pursuing. Your damages typically need to be severe and permanent to make it worth your time.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 11/29/2011
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm | Thomas Bulman
    You could sue them but a judge would probably dismiss it because the second doctor correctly diagnosed your condition.
    Answer Applies to: Montana
    Replied: 11/29/2011
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
    In order to prove a medical malpractice case, a claimant must prove a failure to conform to accepted practice, resulting in an injury. A bad result is not enough, and if it is a "judgment call" by the doctor/hospital, there is no malpractice, even if they made the wrong call. In the scenario you describe, you needed your gallbladder removed and you got it removed. Keep in mind that in all med/mal cases, expert witness testimony is required, which typically goes for $25,000+ Also, you would have to find a lawyer willing to put 300 hours into this over the next 2 years on the chance that there might be a successful verdict of an amount that would make it worthwhile.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 11/29/2011
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
    Not unless you sustained any additional substantial injury from the delay. You probably had a laparoscopic cholecystectomy done on you at the second hospital which you probably should have had at the first hospital. So, the pain from the time between the two trips to the hospital alone is not worth pursuing; medical malpractice cases can be very expensive to bring, so unless your treating doctor is of the opinion that the delay caused you significant additional injury, the answer is no.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 11/29/2011
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