What ae my rights if during a follow up visit to the doctor’s office after surgery, the doctor failed to recognize/diagnose signs of infection?

Later on that same day I went to the emergency room and was diagnosed with a staph infection that kept me in the hospital several weeks and forced me to undergo several surgeries to get rid of the infection. Do I have a case?

Asked on December 7, 2015 under Malpractice Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You probably don't have a case in the situation you describe: you write that "later on that same day" you were diagnosed. That means that the failure to diagose by the doctor would have added only a few hours to the time it took to get a diagnosis (i.e. from the time when you went to the doctor to when you went to the emergency room "later the same day"). That few hour delay probably made no appreciable difference in how long you were hospitalized or how many surgeries you had--that is, the failure to diagnose probably did not cause you any signficant harm. In the absence of significant harm caused by the failure to diagnose, there'd be little or no point in a lawsuit, since the amount of compensation you would be entitled to is related to the harm caused by the failure to diagnose. With minimal harm from that failure, you could spend more on the lawsuit (since you'd have to hire one or more medical expert witnesses for the case) then you'd win.


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