Can I sue a hospital for out-of-pocket expnses incurred as a result of a misdiagnosis?

About 3 months ago I had to go to the emergency room as I had floaters in my eye that exploded into a spider web formation.They told me the xray they took showed I had previously had a stroke, which I had no idea this occurred. Based on that fact, I gave up my horse rescue and moved back to my house in another state. My husband and I thought I should not be alone at the horse ranch as the nearest hospital was over an hour away. Lots of additional expense we did not have the finances for. Went to a new neurologist and had 2 MRI’s and other tests which showed I did not have a stroke. Can I sue the hospital for all the additional expense? Never would have moved if it was for not the incorrect diagnosis they said showed on the xray.

Asked on March 25, 2014 under Malpractice Law, New Jersey


Anne Brady / Law Office of Anne Brady

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

No, in a claim for medical malpractice you can collect only for damage to your person that was caused by the malpractice, not expenses resulting from life choices you made, albeit based on a misdiagnosis.  Even if you had damage to your person, you would need to find an expert witness doctor who was willing to testify that the misread of the X-Ray fell below the standard of care for a doctor of similar training in a similar situation.  You do not have a case for medical malpractice.

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