Can I sue for pain and suffering regarding a misdiagnosis?

For the last 2 years (from 13 to age 15), I had really bad pains. I kept going to the doctors but they wouldn’t look to see what was wrong; they would just diagnose me with different things. My mother told them to check my gallbladder over and over again but they failed to do so. Then finally I had really bad pains and went to the ER. My gallbladder burst; it turns out that I had a lot of gallstones. I had to undergo emergency surgery. Is there any way I can sue them for this?

Asked on May 25, 2015 under Malpractice Law, North Dakota


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Medical malpractice is a type of personal injury. In such cases, 2 things must be shown: (1) due to another's negligence (2) a person suffered harm as a result. In this case, there is no question that you suffered physical harm, however the issue of negligence may or may not be present.

In such cases, if a doctor fails to make an accurate diagnosis of a harmful health condition, the issue as regards to negligence is whether the doctor breached the applicable "medical standard of care" under the circumstances. Basically this means, would a doctor with similar training in the same medical community have identified the problem?

So while you appear to have a claim here, proving medical negligence can be a complicated undertaking. This is why you should consult with a personal injury attorney as to your case; such a meeting is typically free.

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