Can I sue for constant misdiagnosis?

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Can I sue for constant misdiagnosis?

I have been in and out of the urgeny care and er for the past year with
abdominal pain that felt like it was appendicitis. I was given CT scans and
they came up clear and so I was dismissed and sent home with pain medicine with
explanations such as endometriosis and gastroenteritis. I became classified as
a drug seeker because I kept coming in with this pain. Finally, this past
weekend, I refused to be pushed out ER doc even said he would give me pain
pills i was supposedly seeking because i was wasting his time and was
admitted. Turns out that my appendix was positioned oddly and the tip had been
enflamed the whole time, thus causing the on again off again pain, which had
come to a head this past weekend. Can I sue for this discrimination and
misdiagnosis? I’ve beeen treated very rudely and refused pain treatment when I
desperately needed it i had an iud that was misplaced and it was cutting into
my uterus because they thought I Was just seeking drugs, which was not the
case.

Asked on January 24, 2017 under Malpractice Law, Maryland

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If the misdiagnosis was unreasonable, you may be able to sue for the out-of-pocket costs of the additional, otherwise unnecessary, doctor's, etc. visits you had; for wages lost due to the misdiagnosis; and possibly some small amount for pain and suffering. (Large amounts for pain and suffering are generally awarded for significant life impairment, like diminished use of a limb, damaged vision, disfigurement, etc.). Bear in mind that if they will not voluntarily compensate you, you'd have to sue, and malpractice suts can be expensive--you really should retain an attorney, and you *must* hire at least one medical expert (e.g.a doctor) to examine you, write a report and testify (the court will not accept your testimony, as a layperson, as to medical care, the effects of a medical condition, etc.) As such, unless you had large medical costs or will suffer significant ongoing problems as a result, it may not be worthwhile to sue.
If the misdiagnosis was logical or reasonable under the circumstances--most doctors, confronted with the symptoms, test results, etc. in this case would have come to the same conclusion--then there was no malpractice and no liability.
Note that there is no recovery for "discrimination" or "rudeness" in case like this--only for costs and for physical/life impairment.


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