Do I have a malpractice case?

I had bunion removal surgery in Nov.2016. I was off work for 6-8 weeks for recovery. Then when I returned to work my foot was hurting the more I walked on it. I missed several days due to pain and eventually lost my job. Just recently I saw 2 podiatrist from a different clinic. The X-rays showed that the doctor that performed the surgery had screwed screws into the joint of my toe, and they agreed that this was what was causing pain. My left foot is now messed up because I have been compensating on it for pain. I went to see doctor that performed the surgery to talk about it but they denied me because I owe them $500 for surgery. Do I have a case?

Asked on August 30, 2018 under Malpractice Law, Arkansas

Answers:

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

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Medical malpractice is negligence, which 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 filing a lawsuit for negligence against the surgeon, it may be possible to settle the case with his/her malpractice insurance carrier. When you complete your medical treatment and are released by your current podiatrist or are declared to be permanent and stationary, which means having reached a point in your medical treatment where no further improvement is anticipated, obtain your medical bills, medical reports, and documentation of wage loss.
Your claim filed with the surgeon's malpractice insurance carrier should include those items.
Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports document your medical treatment, and are 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 surgeon's malpractice insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.
If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the malpractice insurance carrier, reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence against the surgeon.
If the case is NOT settled, your lawsuit must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.


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