If my daughter was in the hospital due to a slip and fall and they failed to notice that she had a broken wrist, what can we do?

UPDATED: Oct 22, 2014

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If my daughter was in the hospital due to a slip and fall and they failed to notice that she had a broken wrist, what can we do?

The hospital failed to notice the slight bruising and swelling of her arm and placed an IV in what we later found out was her arm with a broken wrist. Is it malpractice that they not only failed to notice the break but that they placed the IV in the broken wrist?

Asked on October 22, 2014 under Malpractice Law, Missouri


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

It may be malpractice in that it may well have been careless or negligent medical care.  But that doesn't mean you have a viable case. What additional medical costs or additional injury did your daughter suffer from the hospital's actions? In a medical malpractice case, you can only recover an amount of compensation equivalent to the out-of-pocket medical costs caused by the malpractice itself, and if the malpractice led to some long-term impairment of life, some amount of pain and suffering (there are some additional costs that cna also be recovered in cases of serious malpractice, like lost wages or reduction in earning potential, but those would not seem to apply here). Unless the hospitals error caused some significant complication for your daughter, you are not likely to be able to recover enough money to even offset the cost of a malpractice case, since malpractice cases are among the most expensive ones to bring (e.g. you need to hire a medical expert, which is expensive, to provide a  report and testimony).

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