What do I do to get restitution from a doctor whose treatment made me severely ill?

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What do I do to get restitution from a doctor whose treatment made me severely ill?

I took my wife to a specialist in CA. hile in the office with my wife, the doctor suggested that I take some pills for tiredness and I trusted her. Within a month of starting the pills (the only pills I was taking) I experienced liver failure and just about died. I have been under the care of a liver specialist in my home state ever since. I have never fully recovered and never will. All I want is to have her pay my medical bills and time off work. How do I approach this?

Asked on July 21, 2011 Washington

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You should obtain the opinion of the liver specialist as to the cause of your liver failure.  If the liver specialist's opinion is that the pills from the first doctor caused your liver failure, then you would have a case for medical malpractice.  Medical malpractice is negligence which is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care in this case that a reasonable physician in the same community would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances).

If the liver specialist's opinion is that the cause of your liver failure was the pills from the first doctor, you want to obtain your medical bills, medical reports and documentation of wage loss.  Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of your injuries and will determinet the amount of compensation you receive for pain and suffering.  Compensation for pain and suffering is an amount in addition to the medical bills. 

Prior to filing a lawsuit against the doctor, it may be possible to settle the case with the doctor's insurance carrier.  The claim you file with the doctor's insurance carrier will consist of the medical bills, medical reports (the medical report from the liver specialist is of critical importance) and documentation of wage loss.  If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the insurance carrier, reject the settlement offers and file your lawsuit for negligence against the doctor.  You will need to file your lawsuit prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.  If the case is settled with the insurance company, no lawsuit is filed, but if it is not settled and the statute of limitations is approaching, file your lawsuit prior to the expiration of the statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.


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