What can I do about a possible case of medical negligence?.

I had a EKG done at a walk-in clinic. There was no follow up to the results. I continued to have the symptoms and went back the the clinic 2 more times. I finally made an appointment with my regular MD who did a EKG which showed that I had a heart attack. He sent me right away to a cardiologist and I had a stent put in and I do feel better. However, I do have 54% damage to my heart. The cardiologist obtained my first EKG done at the clinic and it showed an abnormal reading; there should have been a follow-up. I confronted the PA at the clinic and asked him why he did not do a follow-up stress test. He replied he did not have a crystal ball. I feel the need to do something about this negligence but I just don’t know if I have a case.

Asked on July 5, 2014 under Malpractice Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

A failure to diagnose what a reasonable medical care provider would have diagnosed given the test results or symptoms, or to otherwise follow-up the way a competent medical care provider would, can form the basis for a malpractice (medical negligence or carelessness). If the first EKG showed abnormal readings that would have warranted follow-up, but the clinic did not, you may have a valid case against them. If you do, you could recover from them for any additional damage caused by the delay in care due to their failure to diagnose; for example, say that with prompt care, you would have had 10 - 15% damage, you could seek compensation for the impairment or diminution of quality of life caused by the additional 39 - 44% damage resulting from the delay, as well as for additional medical costs you incurred. From what you write, it would be worthwhile to consult with a medical malpractice attorney about the situation.


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