What to do about a misdiagnosis that will prboably result in a permanent disability?

I talked to my PCP about wrist pain that would not go away. She told me it was a sprain, so I treated it as such. This was 13 months ago. Then 11 months ago, I told her the pain hadn’t gotten any better but she still claimed it was a sprain. I just now have found out through my school after I got an X-ray, that I had an old fracture that was untreated and now may result in a case of possible Keinbock’s disease. This means that I might loose all mobility of my wrist and have been in pain for over a year Do I have a case?

Asked on November 11, 2012 under Malpractice Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

What is a PCP? If this person is a medical practitioner, you may have a malpractice claim.  If this person is not a medical practitioner, there isn't any medical malpractice claim. 

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).  It would be advisable to obtain your medical bills and medical records and have your second doctor review them.  The second doctor can write a report supporting your malpractice claim.  You should obtain your medical bills from both doctors (assuming the PCP is a medical practitioner), your medical report from the second doctor and documentation of wage loss. 

Prior to filing a lawsuit against the first doctor, it may be possible to settle the case with her malpractice insurance carrier.  Your claim should include the medical bills, medical reports and documentation of any wage loss.  Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of your injury and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering, which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  If the case is settled with the 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 your lawsuit for negligence against the first doctor (PCP).  If the case is NOT settled with the malpractice insurance carrier, you will need to file your lawsuit for negligence against the first doctor prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.


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