Can I sue for a botched polyp removal during a colonoscopy?

I had a routine colonoscopy in June, 2017. Three polyps were removed. One was pretty large. The next day I went back to work but had to leave by noon, calling my doctor and asking why I am bleeding so bad. He told me to sit tight, it’s normal but if it continues go the emergency room. Well I did about 500 that day. Ended up being admitted for Thursday night and finally got released 2 days later around 800 Saturday night. I have to say no one believed how bad I was bleeding. I had scans and lots of blood work that resulted in an extremely low blood count because of my excessive bleeding-I got scheduled for another colonoscopy Friday night which resulted in finding out the large polyp removal wasn’t sealed correctly and clamps had to be used to stop the bleeding from the ulcer that developed at the removal site. I had so much blood work done to the point they had to bring a specialist in because my veins were collapsed and I was dehydrated. I also had to get a blood transfusion that I was traumatized for because of the risk. They finally got my blood count up high enough to release me but even that was borderline-I remained home from work til Tuesday the next week still feeling weak and fatigued. I never experienced anything like this as normally I am healthy, I do not take meds of any kind. I go every 3 years since I was in my 20’s since my mom died of colon cancer-I am now 49. A friend of mine said I am crazy for not suing but I didn’t think I had a case??

Asked on October 10, 2017 under Malpractice Law, New Jersey

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

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 for negligence against the doctor, it may be possible to settle the case with the doctor's malpractice insurance carrier.
Notify the doctor's malpractice insurance carrier in writing of your claim.  Obtain your medical bills, medical reports, and documentation of wage loss.  Your claim filed with the malpractice insurance carrier should include those items.
Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document your medical condition caused by the surgery, 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 doctor's malpractice insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.
If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the malpractice insurance carrier, reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence against the doctor.
If the case is NOT settled, your lawsuit for negligence against the doctor 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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