What are my rights if the doctors’ office gave immunization shots to my infant son that may have been ineffective?

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What are my rights if the doctors’ office gave immunization shots to my infant son that may have been ineffective?

A year later they sent a letter saying the refrigerator that was storing the medications was not maintaining the proper temperature and some of the shots may not have been effective. They are suggesting my son re-take those shots or undergo a blood titer to figure out if the shots were indeed ineffective. Both options are very painful as my son is only 18 months old. This is very upsetting. He has to take 4 shots again. Isn’t this gross negligence on their part? What if my son had contracted something serious because of the ineffective medication?

Asked on September 10, 2015 under Malpractice Law, California

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Medical malpractice is negligence.  Negligence is the failure to exercise due care that degree of care that a reasonable medical practitioner in the community would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm.
Prior to filing a lawsuit against the doctor on behalf of your son, it may be possible to settle the case with the doctor's malpractice insurance carrier.  Your claim filed with the malpractice insurance carrier should include your son's medical bills and medical reports.
Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of your son's injury/medical condition and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering, which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.
If the case is settled with the doctor's malpractice insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.
If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the doctor's malpractice insurance carrier, reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence against the doctor.  You will need to be appointed guardian ad litem to file a lawsuit on behalf of your son.
If the case is NOT settled with the malpractice insurance carrier, the lawsuit against the doctor for negligence must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or your son will lose his rights forever in the matter.


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