Can I sue my doctor for malpractice?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can I sue my doctor for malpractice?

About 5 years ago I kept going back and forth to my primary physician with complaints about my hip and back. Every time he did ex-rays and told me nothing was wrong or gave me a shot in my hip and still told me there was nothing wrong with me. Finally, a couple years later I blew a disc in my lower back. I then went back, and he very rudely told me ‘I already told you there is nothing wrong with you, I will give you your co-pay and you can leave.’ I then screamed at him and demanded an MRI which revealed a serious problem in need of surgery. Can I sue him for malpractice? If caught earlier surgery could have been avoided.

Asked on March 11, 2019 under Malpractice Law, Alabama


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You may be able to sue him for malpractice. You would have to be able to show with medical expert testimony (e.g. the testimony of the appropriate type of doctor) that your primary physician was negligent or careless to not either make the correct diagnosis, or to run additional tests (MRI), or to refer you to a specialist, given that you kept coming back with the same complaint. That is, you have to show not just that he was wrong (the law accepts that medicine is not perfect, and doctors do sometimes get things wrong) but that what he did was unreasonable or careless or did not meet then-current standards for medical care. If you can show that, you should have a viable malpractice case.

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.

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