Do I have a lawsuit for wrong diagnosis at the ER? 19 Answers as of June 20, 2014

I went to an ER and was told I had an eye infection and stress attack and released. I went to a different ER and was admitted for sepsis which is life threatening. Do I have a lawsuit?

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RJ Alexander Law PLLC
RJ Alexander Law PLLC | Reshard Alexander
It is possible that you have a viable lawsuit for the misdiagnosis of sepsis. What was the time period in between the two diagnosis and what damages did you suffer as a result of the misdiagnosis? You need to consult a personal injury attorney to review your medical records and make a more detailed inquiry into your potential lawsuit.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 6/20/2014
S. Joseph Schramm | Joseph Schramm
Fortunately for you, it appears that the staff at the second ER properly diagnosed and treated the problem before any serious damage was incurred by yourself. However, it appears that the damages you suffered, such as the inconvenience of going to a second facility to get proper treatment and care, would be insufficient to merit a cause of action for medical negligence.
Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
Replied: 6/19/2014
Chalat Hatten Koupal & Banker PC
Chalat Hatten Koupal & Banker PC | Linda Chalat
There would only be a claim if the delay in treatment caused significant harm. If you went to the second ER shortly after the first ER visit, then there is probably no lasting harm caused by the misdiagnosis.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 6/19/2014
Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
Sure, but what is it worth? If you died, it would be worth a lot; since you did not, and you would have needed hospitalization anyhow, you only had a slight delay. Now, if a doctor will say that the delay will cause you harm in the future, then go for it.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 6/18/2014
Law Ofices of Edwin K. Niles | Edwin K. Niles
Medical and dental malpractice claims are, by their nature, very difficult. Under California law, it is necessary, before filing suit, to obtain an affidavit from another professional, verifying that he has reviewed the medical charts and has found that there was negligence. This can cost several thousand dollars, and most attorneys expect that the client will cover this cost. Negligence could be defined as the failure to use REASONABLE care; not all bad outcomes are the result of negligence. You should also be aware that there is a cap on the amount of recovery for ?pain and suffering?, thanks to the doctor lobby. Sometimes one has a good case theoretically, but the damages are too small to warrant a suit. For these reasons, not many lawyers handle malpractice cases. You should seek a specialist. You can contact your LOCAL bar association for a referral.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/18/2014
    Peterson Law Offices PC
    Peterson Law Offices PC | Todd Peterson
    Infections happen all the time at hospitals and by itself it doesn't necessarily mean you have a recoverable claim. If the sepsis causes great damage then perhaps the misdiagnosis played a role but from the question it seems it's being handled. From what is presented fact wise I won't think there is a valid claim for medical error.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/18/2014
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
    Doubtful. If they had reason to believe you had eye infection plus stress attack, then it was a judgment call, no malpractice. Even if it was, then if the second ER caught it in time, the costs of pursuing the matter could easily exceed the likely recovery.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/18/2014
    Shalvoy Law, LLC | Walter A. Shalvoy Jr.
    Medical malpractice cases are difficult, whether or not you have a viable case would hinge upon what injuries you suffered as a result of this missed diagnosis.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 6/18/2014
    Elhart & Horvath, P.C.
    Elhart & Horvath, P.C. | Mattias Johnson
    The short answer is probably not, but you should definitely check with an experienced personal injury attorney in your area. Most hospitals have something called governmental immunity, which means that proving a negligence claim against them is more difficult than against a private citizen or corporation. Additionally, courts recognize that sometimes doctors make mistakes in diagnosing patients. Finally, you don't really have the fourth prong of any negligence claim, which is damages. Because you were later properly diagnosed, and I am assuming treated, you cannot prove damages (such as serious impairment of a bodily function, or death).
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/18/2014
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    Not likely. You would have to show that they deviated from the standard care of practice.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/18/2014
    James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C.
    James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C. | Jim Hasser
    Whether or not medical malpractice occurred is a question for a medical expert. Medical malpractice lawyers typically have such experts available. You may want to consider consulting one, but because the problem was detected and treated and you suffered no permanent damages as result of the misdiagnosis, even if you did have a claim, the cost of pursuing it would probably far outweigh any potential recovery. That does not mean you are without a legal remedy, though. You can complain to the hospital and/or the medical board.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 6/18/2014
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    What are your damages? How long between visits? If it was a blown diagnosis but not damages you might have a cause of action of the money you paid the first ER.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/18/2014
    End, Hierseman & Crain, LLC | J. Michael End
    It does not look like you were injured by the wrong diagnosis having been made. Therefore, you probably do not have a lawsuit that you could successfully pursue. You must suffer an injury as a result of medical negligence to be able to successfully pursue a case.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 6/18/2014
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    Sepsis means infection. You don't have a claim because different folks say the same thing in different ways . you have a claim only if you have a problem caused by a mistake and you have death OR SERIOUS INJURY AS A RESULT.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 6/18/2014
    Thomas SanFilippo & Associates, LLC | Thomas SanFilippo
    Potentially yes you could have a case. But with that little amount of information it's impossible to tell for sure.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 6/18/2014
    Coulter's Law
    Coulter's Law | Coulter K. Richardson
    That would be a tough case to make, primarily because you would need to prove that the damages you sustained, you would not have sustained had the diagnosis been correct the first time around. If for instance you lost an eye due to the delay in diagnosis, that would be different. However, based on the information you provided it does not seem like your damages are significant enough to warrant taking this to court. Additionally, you would have to prove they deviated from sound medical practices to prove negligence. Their diagnosis may have been sound, based on the information they had available to them at the time.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 6/18/2014
    Lombardi Law Firm
    Lombardi Law Firm | Steve Lombardi
    No, not in my opinion. You have no damages.
    Answer Applies to: Iowa
    Replied: 6/18/2014
    Barry Rabovsky & Associates
    Barry Rabovsky & Associates | Barry Rabovsky
    When you were admitted in the second emergency room, how long were you in the hospital and what additional treatment did you need because of the failure to diagnose the problem in the first emergency room?
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 6/18/2014
    Domnitz & Skemp, SC
    Domnitz & Skemp, SC | Merrick Domnitz
    You may have a claim for negligence against the first provider, but since you were resourceful enough to obtain a second opinion and have the condition treated appropriately, the claim against the first ER has minimal if any value. You can't claim damages for something that could have happened as a result of a missed diagnosis, only for things that actually did happen.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 6/18/2014
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