Can my 82 year old mother sue a hospital if they misdiagnosed her injuries?

UPDATED: Dec 12, 2014

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: Dec 12, 2014Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can my 82 year old mother sue a hospital if they misdiagnosed her injuries?

She recently fell off of a curb at a hospital. She was examined in the ER and told that she had 2 cracked ribs. She was then given some pain meds and told to contact her physician. Her physician actually contacted her the following day saying he saw the X-rays and wasn’t pleased with what he saw. When she was able to make the trip to him the following week, she in fact had 5 broken ribs, a broken elbow and rotator cup injury.

Asked on December 12, 2014 under Malpractice Law, Georgia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

To have a valid malpractice claim, you need two things:

First, you need liability, or fault, on the part of the doctor or hospital. Missing an easy diagnosis, one that any reasonable medical care provider would have been expected to make, can be negligent, or unreasonably careless, and so could establish fault and liability.

Second, you need damages, or injuries and costs, caused by that negligent or at-fault act; that's because the civil (non-criminal; lawsuits) legal system compensates for actual lossses or injuries. So if the delay gettng a correct diagnosis caused your mother to incur significant additional medical costs, or caused her injuries to get much worse, leading to disability or impairment, she may have a viable lawsuit. But if that didn't happen--if the misdiagnosis did not hurt her in some signficant way--there's no point in suing. Not only would she recover little or no money, but malpractice suits can be very expensive to bring (you need a medical expert on your side)--she could spend far more on the claim then she would get.

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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption