Are we responsible for payment if my wife was given the wrong medication during an office visit?

She was given a progesterone shot during pregnancy. The doctor wanted to put her on a progesterone regimen for the next few months. We felt like there was something wrong with idea and switched doctors. Our suspicions were confirmed by the new doctor that those weren’t necessary. Now that previous doctor has charged us inappropriately for visits. We refused to pay and now are being taken to collection. Do we have a case to sue?

Asked on February 11, 2015 under Malpractice Law, Illinois

Answers:

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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Your wife should NOT be charged for being given the wrong medication.

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).

Your malpractice case can be strengthened by obtaining a written statement from the second doctor that the progesterone should not have been prescribed.

Your wife should obtain her medical bills, medical reports (especially from the second doctor) and documentation of any wage loss.  Her medical malpractice claim should include these items.  Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of any condition caused by the progesterone 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.

Your wife can file a lawsuit for negligence against the first doctor.  She also should file a complaint with the state medical licensing board.

The lawsuit must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or your wife will lose her rights forever in the matter.


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