Can I get a doctor to pay medical expenses after missing a diagnosis?

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Can I get a doctor to pay medical expenses after missing a diagnosis?

My 72 year old mother went to her doctor complaining pain in the back and pelvis. He took X-rays but found nothing of concern. He did not order any additional tests and sent her home with pain meds and muscle relaxers. Less than 2 month later, she called me because she was in so much pain that she could not get up to go to the bathroom. I helped her, then took her to the ER. A few days, and many tests, later, we were told that she had stage 4 bladder cancer, that had spread into her pelvis, spine, ribs and skull. They also found that she had a fractured pelvis. She died 5 weeks later.

Asked on May 29, 2012 under Malpractice Law, Indiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Malpractice is the provision of medical care that does not meet generally accepted standards of care. If a doctor misses a diagnosis or makes a wrong diagnosis when the average reasonable doctor should have diagnosed correctly, that could be malpractice. If there was malpractice, your mother's estate (or anyone who paid medical costs on her behalf) could potententially sue for additional costs they incurred due to the misdiagnosis, which costs would not have been incurred had the diagnosis been made correctly. It may also be possible for your mother's estate or you as her child to maintain a wrongful death claim, if the misdiagnosis sped her passing. It would be worthwhile to meet with experienced medical malpractice counsel.


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