What are my rights if I have a broken titanium plate in my right leg?

I had a tibial, fibual fracture a couple years back and some of the screws broke within months but the doc thought that would be OK. Now I have no medical insurance and have been on crutches for 2 months and am having a lot of trouble finding help getting this fixed.I cannot use my right leg and the pain is unreal. I don’t understand how this plate just broke. It has since actually cause a fall where I was knocked out.

Asked on June 26, 2014 under Malpractice Law, Florida

Answers:

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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

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 be examined by another doctor (an orthopedist) who could also review your medical records.  That second doctor could write a report supporting your malpractice claim against the first doctor. 

Prior to filing a lawsuit against the first doctor for negligence, it may be possible to settle the case with the first doctor's malpractice insurance carrier.  Your personal injury claim filed with the first doctor's malpractice insurance carrier should include your medical bills from both doctors, medical reports (especially the report from the second doctor) and documentation of any wage loss.

Compensation for the medical bills 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.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.

If the case is settled with the first doctor's malpractice insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.  If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the first doctor's malpractice insurance carrier, reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence against the first doctor.  If the case is NOT settled with the malpractice insurance carrier, you must 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.

If you can't afford to go to the second doctor since you don't have insurance, it would be advisable to contact a medical malpractice attorney, who could send you to a doctor who will be paid out of the settlement of the case.


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