What recourse do I have regarding compensation for eye injury suffered during an unrelated medical procedure?

I had colonoscopy 3 weeks ago. When I became conscious, I realized I could not open my left eye. It was itching and was unbearably painful. Some injury took place while I was sedated. From the gastrointestinal doctor’s office my son took me to my family doctor’s office from where I got an urgent referral and then my son took me to an opthalmologist. He examined me thoroughly, gave anasthetic drops and said there was corneal abrasion. He gave me some drops to be given 4 times a day and if it did not improve in 5-7 days then I should see an ophthalmologist again. The itching and pain did not go away and I could not sleep on my left side because that was hurting my injured eye. So I went to another ophthalmologist after a week in the same practice. He again examined me thoroughly and said the corneal abrasion is still there and changed the eye medicine. Now the injury is 3 weeks old, the pain and itching has reduced but is still there. I still cannot sleep in my left side, I am psychologically worried about the ultimate outcome. Do I have a case to sue the gastroenterologist for medical malpractice? If so, what is a ballpark compensation or is there a chance of mediation/arbitration?

Asked on November 16, 2018 under Malpractice Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

It may be difficult to sue unless you have evidence of what they did to injure you: as the person suing, it is your obligation to prove your case, which means proving that they did the harm. Without knowing what happened or evidence of how it happened, it may be very difficult to this. And if you can't prove they harmed you, you can't win your case.
As to what such a case might be worth: there is no way to tell from this information. It depends on 1) is the damage or inury or pain permanent, or if not, how long will it last? 2) how severe is it? 3) what out of pocket medical bills will you incur? 4) will it interfere with working or earning a living? 5) Etc.--i.e. the specific facts of the injury and its impact on you wlll shape how much compensation to which you may be entitled.


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