Do I have a Law Suit

I had a varicella vaccination done, a day later my entire hand was swollen down
to the elbows… and very painful…. I went back to the clinic where I had
received the shot… the attending nurse after looking at the swollen arm and
agreeing that it wasn’t suppose to be that swollen went to get the nurse who had
given me the shot and another nurse… they recommended an antibiotics without
doing any test and not telling me exactly what had happened. later that night I
went to the emergency room at another hospital … the doctor there told me that
I had a cellulitis infection… and gave me IV treatment. can I sue the clinic
who gave me the shot?

Asked on April 17, 2016 under Malpractice Law, Iowa

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

1) You'd have to be able to prove by expert medical testimony that the clinic caused the cellulits: it's not enough that it occured after your visit. Rather, you need a doctor to exam you and write up a report (and testify in court, if necessary) that the short caused the cellulitis in a certain way.
2) Furthermore, even if the shot gave you cellulitis, it must have occured because the clinic did something wrong (e.g. carelessly), like not using a clean needle or not disinfecting the area where you got the shot. If they did nothing wrong, but cellulitis is simply something that can occur once in a while even with properly done shots, they are not liable. Liability depends on fault. Your medical expert would also have to offer an informed opinion as to this.
3) You can only recover an amount of money equal to your out-of-pocket medical expenses (NOT including anything you pay for your medical expert witness); lost wages, if any; and, if you suffer serious disabilty, life impairment, or disfigurement/scarring last at least months, some amount for "pain and suffering."
It may not be worth suing unless you have a significant lasting problem or incurred significant costs.


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