What can we do if we recently took our toddler to the ER because he fell and cut his forehead open but the ER doctor did not properly treat it?

The doctor did not clean the wound before using glue to seal it. A couple days later it got infected and grew into big pus ball. We took him to his pediatrician who drained it and put him on antibiotics. I think he’ll be fine but I’m not sure if there’s going to be a scar from this. I don’t think I should have to pay $1100 hospital bill when they made the situation worse. Is there anything I can do to not have to pay this bill?

Asked on October 28, 2014 under Malpractice Law, Ohio

Answers:

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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Medical malpractice is negligence. With regard to the doctor, 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).

With regard to the hospital, 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).

Prior to filing a lawsuit against the doctor and hospital, it may be possible to settle the case with the malpractice insurance carrier for the doctor and the insurance carrier for the hospital.

Your son's claim filed with those insurance carriers should include his medical bills from the hospital and pediatrician, and medical reports including the medical report from the pediatrician which will support your claim of malpractice against the ER doctor and hospital.

Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of your son's injury and condition, 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 both insurance carriers (ER doctor and hospital), NO lawsuit is filed.

If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the insurance carriers, reject the settlement offers and file your lawsuit for negligence.  If the case is settled with one, but not both parties (doctor and hospital), only name the party with whom the case has not settled as a defendant in your lawsuit.  If the case has settled with both parties, NO lawsuit is filed.  If the case has not settled with either party (doctor and hospital), name both of them as defendants in your lawsuit for negligence.

You will need to be appointed guardian ad litem to file a lawsuit on behalf of your son because he is a minor.

If the case is NOT settled, your lawsuit for negligence on behalf of your son must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or your son will lose his rights forever in the matter.


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