What is a hospital’s liability if the wrist nerves in a patent’s hand were damaged due to the improper placement of an IV needle?

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What is a hospital’s liability if the wrist nerves in a patent’s hand were damaged due to the improper placement of an IV needle?

About 9 months ago I had to go into the hospital due to a serious infection and fluid retention issue. When a member of the staff inserted an IV needle into my wrist the nerves that operated the pinkie and ring fingers of my right hand were damaged. When I was dismissed from the hospital I informed them that I was experiencing problems with that hand and they dismissed it as if it were nothing. I’ve had some therapy but the therapist says that there is little that can be done with that kind of nerve damage. Do I have a case? Should I speak with a malpractice attorney? In Houston, TX.

Asked on August 4, 2011 Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Medical malpractice is based on negligence.

It would be advisable to be examined by another doctor, obtain your medical reports from the hospital and have the second doctor review the medical reports to get that doctor's opinion to support a claim for medical malpractice.

If the doctor's opinion supports a finding of medical malpractice, it may be possible to settle the case with the hospital's insurance carrier.  Your claim would include the medical bills, medical reports, 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.  Compensation for pain and suffering is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the insurance carrier, reject the offers and file your lawsuit for negligence against the hospital.  If the case is settled with the insurance carrier, no lawsuit is filed.  If the case is NOT settled with the insurance carrier, you will need to file your lawsuit for negligence against the hospital prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.

It would be advisable to speak with a medical malpractice attorney.


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