Can I sue an er doctor

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Can I sue an er doctor

Took my son to the er and he got xrays
due to a bad cough. The dr said the
xrays were negative but I found out
from my son’s doctor today that the
xrays showed he has pneumonia. Can I
sue her

Asked on February 23, 2016 under Malpractice Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

The doctor *may* be at fault IF it was an unreasonable error--i.e. a mistake a reasonable doctor would not make. If the error was the sort that any reasonable doctor could have made--i.e. the X-rays were confusing or not dispositie or definite--then the doctor would not be at fault.
But even if they were at fault, what are suing for? You can only recover, in a malpractice case, additional (or extra) medical costs caused by the error, and "pain and suffering" if the error caused weeks or longer of signficant disability or life impairment. But if the only effect is an extra few days to treat the pneumonia and maybe one or a few extra doctor's visits, it would not be worth suing: malpractice suits can be very expensive (you need to hire a medical expert--i.e. a doctor--to write a report and testify), and you could spend more on the case then you'd get back.


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