If I went to the ER because of a car accident but I was not properly diagnosed, can I file a malpractice claim against the ER doctor?

UPDATED: Jan 21, 2015

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Jan 21, 2015Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If I went to the ER because of a car accident but I was not properly diagnosed, can I file a malpractice claim against the ER doctor?

The accident happened 10 days ago. I told the doctor that my back was hurting severely. He did X-rays on my chest and knee ( also injured) but not on my back. After seeing my regular doctor several days later, she ordered an X-ray on my back. When I went for my checkup today she informed me that I have a L2 fracture. Is there a malpractice claim that I could file against the ER doctor?

Asked on January 21, 2015 under Malpractice Law, Kentucky


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The ER doctor may have committed malpractice, if the failure to exam your back was, under the circumstances of the symptoms you showed and description of the accident, negligent or unreasonably careless.

But what are you claiming for? You can only recover for additional medical costs or injuries *caused by* the misdiagnosis. So if the misdiagnosis caused your injury to become substantially worse and/or caused you to incur greater medical costs than you would have incurred with a timely and accurate diagnosis, you can sue for that additional injury or cost. But if the misdiagnosis had little or not effect on the injury or the treatment thereof, you wouldn't be able to recover any compensation, since the amount of compensation you could receive is based on the injury or costs caused by the misdiagnosis. In deciding what to do, bear in mind that malpractice claims are *very* expensive--you need to hire and pay for a medical expert witness. Unless you have substantial injuries or costs to sue over, you could easily spend more on the lawsuit than you'd get back.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption