If I had surgery for chronic sinusitus 5 years ago and now the cartlidge in my nose is eaten away leaving a good size hole in it, can I sue the doctor?

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If I had surgery for chronic sinusitus 5 years ago and now the cartlidge in my nose is eaten away leaving a good size hole in it, can I sue the doctor?

I went online to find causes of this and they are: excessive cocaine use 9I don’t use), cancer (I don’t have any symptoms) and a previous surgery (which I had). The chronic sinusitus surgery failed and its back 3 fold. Now the cartlidge in my nose is being eatin away. Painful, little bleeding and irritating scab build up.

Asked on August 21, 2012 under Malpractice Law, Washington

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Medical malpractice is negligence.  Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable medical practitioner in the community would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).

It would be advisable to be examined by another doctor and have that doctor also review your medical records.  If that doctor writes a report supporting your malpractice claim, that will provide evidence of malpractice.

The statute of limitations in WA for filing a lawsuit in a medical malpractice case is three years after the negligent act or omission or one year after discovery of the negligent act or omission, but not more than eight years after the negligent act or omission.

You would want to act on this promptly since five years have elapsed, assuming that you can claim that you discovered the negligent act or omission within the past year.  If you don't file the lawsuit prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations, you will lose your rights forever in the matter.

Prior to filing your lawsuit, it may be possible to settle the case with the doctor's malpractice insurance carrier.  Your claim should include the medical bills, medical reports (especially the report from the second doctor), and documentation of wage loss.  Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of your injury and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering, which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  If the case is settled with the doctor's malpractice insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.  If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the malpractice insurance carrier, reject the settlement offers and file your lawsuit for negligence against the doctor.  If the case is NOT settled with the malpractice insurance carrier, you will need to file your lawsuit for negligence against the doctor prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.


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