What are my rights if I was told that I needed my gallbladder removed but during the surgery it was discovered that I was born without one?

A gastroenterologist, surgeon and physician told me that I have a gall bladder full of gallstones, a blocked bile duct and that my gall bladder needs to be removed. When I went into surgery the surgeon found out that I have no gall bladder. I’ve been hospitalized for over a week trying to recover from the surgery. What should I do? Do I need to speak with a personal injury attorney?

Asked on December 10, 2015 under Malpractice Law, California


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

It would be advisable to speak with a medical malpractice attorney.
Medical malpractice is negligence.  Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable medical practitioner in the community would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).
Prior to filing a lawsuit against the doctor(s) (unclear whether you had three doctors or just one), it may be possible to settle the case with the doctor's malpractice insurance carrier (doctors' malpractice insurance carriers). 
Obtain your medical bills, medical reports, and documentation of wage loss.  Your claim filed with the malpractice insurance carrier(s) should include these items.  Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the medical treatment and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering, which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.
If the case is settled with the malpractice insurance carrier(s), NO lawsuit is filed.
If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the malpractice insurance carrier(s), reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence against the doctor(s).
If the case is NOT settled with the malpractice insurance carrier(s), your lawsuit for negligence must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.

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