Do we have a case regarding a missed diagnosis?

My father was seeing a cardiologist who basically failed to diagnose his blockages. He had 3, all of which were at 100% or pretty darn close. He did not

have him on cholesterol medicine, only blood pressure and water pills. My dad went to the emergency room with chest pains and they sent him home saying it was heart burn. The next day he went to his PCP and saw an NP who took a chest X-ray and told him he had pneumonia. Not even 12 hours later, he had a massive heart attack and had to be careflighted and have emergency by-pass surgery. Sounds to me that a lot of this could have been prevented had this cardiologist not been so lazy/negligent. Keep in mind this is a very cut down

version of these events.

Asked on September 5, 2016 under Malpractice Law, Texas

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).
Prior to your father filing a lawsuit for negligence against the cardiologist, it may be possible to settle the case with the doctor's malpractice insurance carrier.
When your father completes his medical treatment and is released or is declared to be permanent and stationary which means having reached a point in his treatment where no further improvement is anticipated, he should obtain his medical bills, medical reports, and documentation of wage loss.  His claim filed with the malpractice insurance carrier should include those items.
Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of his medical condition 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 malpractice insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.
If your father is dissatisfied with settlement offers from the malpractice insurance carrier, he should reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence against the cardiologist.
If the case is NOT settled, your father's lawsuit for negligence against the cardiologist must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or your father will lose his rights forever in the matter.


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