Do I have a case?

I had an appointment with my doctor after having knee surgery. I complained to him
about the excruciating pain I was having. He examined my knee and gave me an
order for physical therapy. The same day I went to the emergency room. It was
obvious I had an infection. Fluid was drawn from my knee, and I had blood work
done. The next day I was undergoing surgery and I was diagnosed with a staph
infection that had already gone into my bloodstream. I was in the hospital for three
weeks and had to go thru two more surgeries. I was sent home with IV antibiotics
for another 3 weeks before starting physical therapy.

Asked on May 13, 2016 under Malpractice Law, Georgia

Answers:

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

Answered 4 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).
The doctor ordered physical therapy for your knee pain which was reasonable.  Although the doctor did not diagnose the staph infection, since you went to the emergency room that day and had surgery the following day, it would appear that you had the staph infection for sometime since it had gone into your bloodstream.  Therefore, even if the doctor had diagnosed the staph infection that day, it does not appear that you would have avoided the complications that you experienced.  Consequently, a medical malpractice case on these facts would be very weak.
 


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