What to do if my 19 month old daughter received a dog bite from a family pet and was prescribed the wrong antibiotic?

UPDATED: Mar 28, 2013

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What to do if my 19 month old daughter received a dog bite from a family pet and was prescribed the wrong antibiotic?

We took her to the ER so they could clean the wounds and give her antibiotics. We waited an hour and a half (which was expected) to see the doctor. Then he came in, just looked at it, said keep it clean and left. He wrote up a prescription for antibiotics and no treatment was given. The next day the bit looked worse and it was swolllen so we took her to her pediatrician. The antibiotics that the hospital gave us was for a staff infection so it was not the antibiotic that she needed to be on; they should have also prescribed a cream to put on the bit which they did not do.

Asked on March 28, 2013 under Malpractice Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The ER may have committed malpractice if the physician was careless or did not provide the level of expected care. However, in a malpractice action, you can only recover an amount of money equal to the actual injury or losses caused by the malpractice, so if there was little harm done other than having to have another doctor visit, buying some additional antibiotics or medicine, and an extra day or two of discomfort or pain, there is no point in suing--you'd spend far more on the lawsuit (since you would need to hire a medical expert witness) than you could possibly recover. Only if the malpractice caused some significant or long-last injury to your daughter (an injury over and above the injury caused by the dog bit itself) and/or caused you considerable (thousands of dollars) of extra costs would it be worthwhile taking legal action.

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