What are my rights regarding an IV that was not properly placed in my arm and caused me an injury?

I just spent a week in the hospital being treated for blood clots in my arm. The clots caused me to lose much of the use of my arm and a lot of excruciating pain. The clots were caused by an IV that was placed in my arm for less than 24 hours almost a month ago by a negligent nurse at another hospital. I now have to be on blood thinners for at least 6 months and have my blood tested weekly at the cancer center. Is this grounds for a malpractice lawsuit against that hospital?

Asked on April 17, 2015 under Malpractice Law, West Virginia

Answers:

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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Medical malpractice is negligence.  Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable hospital would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).  The hospital is liable for the negligence of its employee (nurse) which occurred during the course and scope of employment.

Prior to filing a lawsuit against the first hospital, it may be possible to settle the case with the hospital's insurance carrier.  

When you complete your medical treatment and are released by the doctor or are declared by the doctor 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 (from both hospitals), medical reports (from both hospitals) and documentation of any wage loss.  Your claim filed with the first hospital's insurance carrier should include these items.

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 hospital's insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.

If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the first hospital's insurance carrier, reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence against the first hospital.

IF the case is NOT settled with the first hospital's insurance carrier, your lawsuit for negligence 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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