If the doctor punctured my wife’s lung during a biopsy and never told us, do we have a case?

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If the doctor punctured my wife’s lung during a biopsy and never told us, do we have a case?

My wife had a biopsy of her lung. The doctor punctured her lung and didn’t tell her. She overheard a nurse talking about it. No one ever said anything to her even as she was discharged. We got a copy of her medical records and sure enough, it says punctured lung during surgery. Is there a case here?

Asked on May 1, 2012 under Malpractice Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

For there to be a viable malpractice case, you need two things:

1) Medical care that does not meet accepted standards of care--so the accidental pucture could meet this prong or criteria, so long as a "reasonable" doctor would not have done this; and

2) A physical injury or economic loss for which you could recover.

That second point is where you might have trouble. The law does not provide compensation except when there is an actual injury or loss, and the amount of compensation is directly related to the extent of injury of loss. If your wife has not been injured in any significant way--which may be the case; it seems she did not even notice--and has not incurred any additional medical costs, there is nothing to sue for; therefore, you could not recover money.


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