Can I file a suit for not being able to receive a 2nd opinion?

UPDATED: Jan 12, 2015

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Can I file a suit for not being able to receive a 2nd opinion?

I injured my back and was told at hospital there was no fracture. The pain became worse so after 5 days I went back to the hospital but was refused a 2nd X-ray. I then went to urgent care and again was refused an X-ray. My pain worsened; I was unable to sit up and had trouble breathing and talking. I finally went to another hospital and they saw that I had a couple of fractures in my spine. I was admitted to the hospital for 3 days.

Asked on January 12, 2015 under Malpractice Law, Arizona


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 hospital would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).

Denial of a second X-ray may not be sufficient to support a medical malpractice claim.  Your claim for medical malpractice should focus instead on the misdiagnosis by the first hospital.

Prior to filing a lawsuit against the first hospital for negligence, it may be possible to settle the case with the hospital's insurance carrier.  Your claim filed with the first hospital's insurance carrier should include your medical bills, medical reports, and documentation of wage loss.  Include your medical bills and medical reports from both hospitals.  The medical reports from the second hospital documenting the fractures are critically important to support your medical malpractice claim.

Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports document the nature and extent of your injury/condition and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering, which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.

If the case is settled with the first hospital's insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.  If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the first hospital's insurance carrier, reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence against the first hospital.

If the case is NOT settled with the first hospital's insurance carrier, your lawsuit for negligence against the first hospital must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights in the matter forever.

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 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.

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