Can I sue the hospitals

I’ve been going to the hospital for a few years with the same symptoms over and over again. Every time I went to the hospital they always said everything looked fine and they didn’t find anything so I would go to the other hospital out here and they would tell me their isn’t anything they can do cause the other hospital already saw me. So I stopped going to that hospital but kept going back to the other one. A few days ago I was diagnosed with severe sleep apnea which all the symptoms I was going to the hospital for matched that. Now I have to be on a breathing machine any time I go to sleep because I stop breathing a lot in my sleep. I feel as though if it would have been caught earlier when I kept going back and forth to the hospital then it wouldn’t be this bad.

Asked on January 16, 2018 under Malpractice Law, Indiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

If a reasonable medical care provider would have correctly diagnosed you under those circumstances, then this may well have malpractice--medical negligence, or unreasonable carelessnes--and you may be able to sue. But that doesn't necessarily mean it would be worthwhile to sue.
In a lawsuit, you can only recover compensation if, and to the degree that, the malpractice hurt you. Therefore, unless you can show by medical testimony--i.e. by the testimony of a doctor whom you hire for the lawsuit, which can be expensive--that the failure to diagnose you sooner caused your apnea to become worse, you are not entitled to any compensation. (I.e. if your apnea would be more or less the same regardless of when diagnosed, there is no compensation, because the failure to disagnoses did not harm you.)
Even if the apnea was worsened by the failure to diagnose, if it's not significantly worse for that reason, then the amount of compensation you'd get may still not be worth the time, effort and costs (medical expert; attorney; etc.) of a lawsuit.


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