do i have a case

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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do i have a case

Two and half yeatrs ago I went to northridge er and they dianosed me
with divertikculitus and npow I recently went back to there er and
was diagnosed wkith the same thingafter the did a cr scan and was
released rhe same day I went to the doctor the next day and was sent
to the hospital for emergency surgery to have my gullblatter removed
and found out I also dont have diverticulitius after the doctor had
another ct scan he found that the gullblatter needed to be removed
now on the other ct scan done at northridge the day before my doctor
said there no way they couldnt have not seen the problem its the
gullblatter plane as day he said so now im thinking that northride
miss diagnosed me the first time i went there two and a half years
ago and as well again when I went there the day before I went to the
doctor and they said aagain it was diverticulitus and it easnt and
they released me they took a chance of it possibly bursting and for
two and half years treating the wrong ptoblem so that i had another
attack which resulted in the er surgery what do you think

Asked on November 27, 2016 under Malpractice Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Taking what the last doctor said at face value, it appears there may have been malpractice:the ER failed to make a reasonable diagnosis. (Malpractice means not doing what a reasonable doctor, etc. would do--if the diagnosis was reasonable [many or most doctors would have made it] but wrong,that's not malpractice, since the law does not require doctors to be perfect--just to do a reasonably good or competent job.)
But what additional injury or harm did you suffer due to the diagnosis? If you could have avoided surgery had it properly diagnosed at first (e.g. it could have been managed by medicine non-surgically), then you may have a valid claim for the cost of the surgery, the life disruption, the lost wages (if any) during recovery, pain and suffering, etc. You could in this case possibly sue for the unnecessary surgery, and should speak wth a medical malpractice attorney to evaluate your options in more detail.
But if the only thing that would have happened had they made the diagnosis earlier is that you would have had the same or similar surgery earlier, you may not have been injured in any compensible way: the outcome was the same, just at a later date. Unless you suffered some significant harm or injury due to the misdiagnosis, there' no point in legal action: you would not get enough compensation to make it worthwhile, because the law only provides compensation for the harm or costs caused by the the malpractice.

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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