Do I have a case for the wrong treatment due to a misdiagnosis?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Do I have a case for the wrong treatment due to a misdiagnosis?

My 4 year old was taken to ER after a fall on the monkey bars. They X-ray his forearm. He

was visibly in pain moving anything from his elbow down. The ER doctor diagnosed it as

Asked on October 29, 2016 under Malpractice Law, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

The main issue is, how much additional damage (if any) was done by the attempt to fix a dislocation which did not exist? If, as we hope, there was little or no additional harm, there is no point in suing: the amount of money you can get in a malpractice suit is related to the extent of the injury (and the additional out-of-pocket medical costs, if any). Since a malpractice case can be very expensive (you need to hire a medical expert to write a report and testify, if necessary), with minor harm or costs, you can spend considerable more on the case then you get back.
On the other hand, if your son will suffer some long term impairment due to the ER's mistake, and/or will need multiple treatments or follow-up, costing you a great deal of money, then consult with a medical malpractice attorney (many provide a free initial consultation; you can ask about this and verify it before making the appointment) to discuss the situation. A misdiagnosis *can* be malpractice, if it was careless or negligent (wasn't up to contemporary standards for medical care); experienced malpractice counsel can help you understand if this case falls into that category and if you have a viable case.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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