What should I do?
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What should I do?
Apparently, I have had a pinched nerve in my neck for last last two years and my
doctor has just now telling me about this.
Asked on May 6, 2016 under Malpractice Law, Florida
SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney
Answered 4 years ago | Contributor
If the doctor knew about the pinched nerve two years ago, but did not tell you, that is very likely malpractice: a doctor is required to commuicate his findings to his patients, and to recommend treatment commensurate with the conditions he discovered.
If the doctor should have discovered the pinched nerve previously (i.e. an reasonable doctor, based on your symptoms, an examination, test results, etc. would have figured that out), then that failure to determine what he should have may also be malpractice.
If he only recently discovered the pinched nerve and, based on your symptoms, test results, etc., that was reasonable (i.e. most doctors would have, on the evidence, concluded that the problem was something other than a pinched nerve), then he did not commit malpractice; malpractice is based on the doctor doing something wrong, or not being as careful/competent as the average doctor should be, not on simply being mistaken; the law recognizes that medicine is, in many ways, more an art than a science and that sometimes even the best doctors can't readily determine what is wrong.
Even if it is malpractice, however, a question remains as to whether it is worthwhile to take any action about it: malpractice cases can be very expensive, and since you can only recover compensation equivalent to the the amount of life impairment or disabity you suffer, plus the additional costs or loss income you experienced, in many cases, the malpractice is not worth enough to justify the cost of the lawsuit.
Many malpractice attorneys offer a free initial consultation to evaluate a case. If you believe that the doctor should have known or should have told you earlier, a good idea is to meet with such an attorney to explore what your case might be worth and how strong it is.