If a child is given a steroid injection and it makes a medical condition worse, who is libel?

A 15 year old female was given Kenalog by injection incorrectly; too high on hip. Injection caused skin and fat atrophy and possible muscle atrophy which contributes to scoliosis.

Asked on May 29, 2012 under Malpractice Law, Indiana


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

Answered 8 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).

Prior to filing a lawsuit for negligence against the doctor, it would be advisable to get a second opinion from another doctor.  If the second doctor writes a report supporting your claim for malpractice, this will strengthen your malpractice case against the first doctor.  Obtain the medical records, medical reports, medical bills from the first doctor so that the second doctor can review the medical records and medical reports.

Prior to filing a lawsuit for negligence against the first doctor, it may be possible to settle the case with the first doctor's malpractice insurance carrier.  The claim filed with the malpractice insurance carrier should include the medical bills and medical reports from both doctors.  Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of the 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.  A parent or other guardian will need to handle this matter because the claim is for a minor.  If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the malpractice insurance carrier, reject the settlement offers and file the lawsuit for negligence against the first doctor.  A parent or other guardian will need to be appointed guardian ad litem to file the lawsuit on behalf of the minor because a minor cannot file a lawsuit herself.  If the case is NOT settled with the malpractice insurance carrier, the lawsuit will need to be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or the claimant will lose her rights in the matter forever.

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