Would suing my orthopedic surgeon for malpractice be a possibility?

I had surgery on my right forearm last February. I broke both the ulna and the radius. I have had pain in my arm ever since my surgery. It has not gone away. He actually placed a screw inside of my break and when I questioned it he informed me that it was to ‘compress the bone back together’ or something. Not too long ago, my surgeon was actually fired for malpractice because he was in possession of marijuana and had an illegal amount in his home and was actually high at the time. I joined the Air Force and when I got to basic training I was sent home because of the pain in my arm. This has been an issue in my life for quite some time.

Asked on March 29, 2016 under Malpractice Law, Missouri

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

It would be advisable to obtain your medical records and be examined by a second orthopedist.  If that second orthopedist reviews your medical records pertaining to the surgery and examines you, a medical determination can be made from those findings whether or not you have a viable medical malpractice case.
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).
If you have a viable malpractice claim, it may be possible to settle the case with the doctor's malpractice insurance carrier.  Your claim should include your medical bills, medical reports, and if applicable, wage loss.
Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of your condition/ailment 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.
If the case is settled with the doctor's malpractice insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.
If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the malpractice insurance carrier, reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence against the doctor.
If the case is NOT settled with the malpractice insurance carrier, your lawsuit for negligence must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.
 


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