Is a pneumothorax caused by an improper removal of a chest tube grounds to sue?

On May 25th of last year I was in a car accident and hospitalized for a lengthy period of time. After multiple procedures I was told I was going home on June 10th after my remaining 2 chest tubes were removed. The doctor opted to allow the nurse, or doctor in training not too sure, to preform this action. The first one was removed perfectly fine. The second she failed to apply pressure causing the air to shoot out of my lung resulting in a pneumothorax. I was required to stay at the hospital for 3 days after that with multiple x-rays taken and lots of medication provided. The nurse admitted it to be her fault. I lost additional time at work recovering due to my inability to stand for long periods of time. I was charged for all excess time I spent there and paid extra in collection fees. Is this considered malpractice that I would be able to sue the hospital for?

Asked on February 24, 2016 under Malpractice Law, Florida


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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Medical malpractice is negligence.
Negligence on the part of the hospital 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).
Prior to filing a lawsuit for negligence against the hospital, it may be possible to settle the case with the hospital's insurance carrier.
Your claim filed with the hospital's insurance carrier should include your medical bills, medical reports, and documentation of wage loss.
Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of your injury/medical condition 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 hospital's insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.
If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the hospital's insurance carrier, reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence against the hospital.
If the case is NOT settled with the hospital's insurance carrier, your lawsuit for negligence against the hospital 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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