Do I have a medical malpractice case against my PCP and Endocrinologist for not treating my high calcium level?

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Do I have a medical malpractice case against my PCP and Endocrinologist for not treating my high calcium level?

My Endocrinologist have ignored blood work showing I had high
calcium for over 10 years. My PCP have known of my high calcium
level since 2014.

I had a cyst removed from my sub-mandibular gland in February 2018
and on my post-op checkup, I mention to my ENT that my calcium
level have been high for over 10 years. She had blood work done and
when I went back for the results, she ordered an ultrasound and
parathyroid uptake scan. After the results were in, she informed me
that a tumor was on my right parathyroid gland and I needed surgery.

As a result of the Endocrinologist negligence, the high calcium may
have affect my kidneys and other symptoms of hyperparathyroidism.

Asked on June 8, 2018 under Malpractice Law, Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

First, it's not enough to say that "high calcium may have affected" your kidneys or caused other problems. The law does not provide compensation for what could have happened or potential harm--it only provides compensation for actual harm provably linked to another's negligent (careless) or otherwise wrongful act. Unless you have evidence showing that you have in fact suffered harm from any failure to treat your high calcium levels, you would not have a case.
Second, you would also have to show that what the PCP and endocrinologist did was negligent, or unreasonably careless. If a reasonable doctor would have done nothing based on what they knew, that is not malpractice. Only if you can show that a reasonable doctor would have acted differently might there be a malpractice case.
Third, even if you can show both factors above, the amount of compensation you can get is limited to the actual harm or medical costs you provably suffered due to the malpractice. But at the same time, malpractice caes can be expensive to bring, because you need medical expert (e.g. doctor) testimony about how what your doctors did was careless and how it caused you harm--you can *only* prove these things with medical expert testimony. But medical experts do not work cheap, and you cannot recover their cost from the other side: you have to pay it yourself. Thus, unless you have significant physical harm or out-of-pocket medical costs, you could spend as much or more on the case as you get back.
As you can see, there are some significant challenges to having a viable malpractice case.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

First, it's not enough to say that "high calcium may have affected" your kidneys or caused other problems. The law does not provide compensation for what could have happened or potential harm--it only provides compensation for actual harm provably linked to another's negligent (careless) or otherwise wrongful act. Unless you have evidence showing that you have in fact suffered harm from any failure to treat your high calcium levels, you would not have a case.
Second, you would also have to show that what the PCP and endocrinologist did was negligent, or unreasonably careless. If a reasonable doctor would have done nothing based on what they knew, that is not malpractice. Only if you can show that a reasonable doctor would have acted differently might there be a malpractice case.
Third, even if you can show both factors above, the amount of compensation you can get is limited to the actual harm or medical costs you provably suffered due to the malpractice. But at the same time, malpractice caes can be expensive to bring, because you need medical expert (e.g. doctor) testimony about how what your doctors did was careless and how it caused you harm--you can *only* prove these things with medical expert testimony. But medical experts do not work cheap, and you cannot recover their cost from the other side: you have to pay it yourself. Thus, unless you have significant physical harm or out-of-pocket medical costs, you could spend as much or more on the case as you get back.
As you can see, there are some significant challenges to having a viable malpractice case.


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