What are my right regarding a misdiagnosis?

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What are my right regarding a misdiagnosis?

I broke my leg and ankle nearly 3 years ago at work and required immediate surgery. I have complained of leg and ankle pain ever since, most recently 6 months ago. The comp doctor’s appointment 6 months ago was approved and I saw the doctor who referred me to a surgeon. Both doctor’s would only look at my ankle and not my leg where I broke the fibula, and where I told them it hurt the most. I was told, again, give it 6 months and if it still hurts come back. 6 months later I dropped my motorcycle while parked when my leg seized up with pain and cramping, then gave out. I went back to comp Dr.s who finally looked at my leg and found that the fibula was still broke. Non-union break it never healed and has been broken for nearly 3 years. Recent cat scans now show ligament damage that the new surgeon says was never repaired the first time. I am now scheduled for another surgery to repair the break and ligaments. I have suffered for 3 years in nearly daily pain and nobody would listen to me. I was put on psych meds by my family doctor, which did nothing for the pain but the comp doctors would do nothing until now. My quality of life, vacations, etc., have been miserable. They failed me in my opinion. Do I have a case?

Asked on November 21, 2012 under Malpractice Law, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Malpractice is the provision of medical care which does not meet accepted standards for such care, such as due to negligence (or carelessness). A failure to diagnose or a misdiagnosis can be malpractice, and if malpractice is committted, the medical care providers could be liable for medical costs (e.g. the cost to correct or deal with the malpractice), lost wages or earning potential (if any), and pain and suffering (if there has been significant or long-lasting pain, disability, impairment of life functions, etc.).

From what you write, the original care providers, who left the leg broken, as well as the later providers who did not diagnose the break, may have committed malpractice.

The statute of limitations, or time to sue, ifor medical malpractice in your state is only two years. However, that time can sometimes be extended if there was no practical way for you to know of the malpractice (e.g. know the leg was broken) until later. You should immediately consult with a medical malpractice attorney (many provide a free initial consultation, and you can confirm this with the lawyer before making an appointment) to review whether you have a case against both the original and later physicians and whether there are grounds to assert that case against the original doctors despite the passage of time. Good luck.


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