Can I sue for a misdiagnoses?

I went to the hospital because I was having sharp cramps on one side of my stomach and I

was fearful it might harm my pregnancy. When I went in they took an ultrasound and said they

did not see a child but they told me not to worry because it was probably too early. They also

said they found fluid and that there’s a high chance of me having an ectopic pregnancy and

they’d have to perform surgery. When the surgeon came in and performed the surgery she said there was no fluid and that the doctors misread the monitor. She scheduled a follow-up

appointment for me where she conducted another ultrasound, showed me my children and ran some blood work that showed I was fine. Although thankfully nothing major happened so far, is there a chance I can start a case?

Asked on May 25, 2016 under Malpractice Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

"Elk and Elk"--whomever/whatever that was--is correct: there must be some harm or loss for their to be a viable case. A viable case has two components: liability, or being responsible for having done something wrong; and damages, or an injury or cost for which you are owed compensation.
To use an example: say I punch you, but I am very weak, and you are not hurt. What I did is wrong and--besides potentially facing charges for assault--I would be found liable, or responsible for any injuries. But if there are no injuries, there is nothing to compensate you for: so if you sue, the court would tell you that you are are right and I am wrong, but it would not give you any money.
In your case, a malpractice case can be *very* expensive--besides the fact that you really should have a lawyer, you *must* have a medical expert witness, and they do not work cheap. But if you suffered no real harm and only minimal out-of-pocket medical costs, you'd pay far more for the lawsuit then you'd get back, even if you could prove that what they did was malpractice.


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