Is the doctor responsible to pay for the cost of surgery and lost time at work?

UPDATED: Jan 11, 2012

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Is the doctor responsible to pay for the cost of surgery and lost time at work?

My mother went to do her first colonoscopy check up and left the office feeling very bloated and gassy. That day the doctor told her to take gas relief once home. The next day the office called to check on her and was again told her the same thing and to try to keep moving. She still felt bloated that night and called a friend who advised her to go to the hospital as this is not normal. At the hospital it was discovered that she had a perforation and needed to have emergency surgery. She is recovering at the hospital for next 5 days at least. Should she speak with a malpractice attorney? In Benton County, IA.

Asked on January 11, 2012 under Malpractice Law, Iowa


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Yes, she should speak with a malpractice attorney. If malpractice was committed--or she received medical care falling below accepted standards--then the doctor, practice, hospital, etc. committing the malpractice is potentially liable for all out of pocket (not reimbursed by insurance) medical costs (including perscriptions and medicine), lost wages, other out of pocket costs (e.g. cabs or ambulences), and possibly some amount for pain and suffering. From what you write, your mother may have a claim; it is worthwhile for her to speak with a lawyer.

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