UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022
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I went to ER for chronic migraines was given cat scan and told I needed surgery. So I left with paperwork saying I was diagnosed with cervical subluxation, bone and disk deterioration, with 2 surgeons’ names. After 2 months I see that doctor who has reads the transcript of the CAT scan and it starts by saying no subluxation and apparently reads I’m healthy. He sent me for more test, to which my insurance would not approve because it was the same test. So Im back to no surgery and no diagnosis. Same hospital same test, 2 different diagnoses seem negligent at the very least. I haven’t worked and was shocked when the doctor read the report. I’m still untreated a year later.
Asked on August 17, 2018 under Malpractice Law, Kentucky
SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney
Answered 4 years ago | Contributor
You can't effectively do anything, unfortunately--not as a practical, cost-effective matter.
It may or may not be negligent (unreasonably) careless to have two different diagnosis--it depends in large part on how clear or definitive the CAT scan was. Sometimes, imaging is not as clear it it would ideally be, and a two doctors could reasonably read the image differently without either being negligent.
The above said, for purposes of this answer, we will assume it was negligent. Even if it was, however, there is no real compensation to which you'd be entitled, based on what you have written. In a medical malpractice case, you can only recover 1) out-of-pocket (not paid by insurance) medical costs; 2) provable "pain and suffering" for long-lasting (typically months or more) disability and life impairment; and 3) lost wages if you can't work--all these amounts have to be shown to be caused by the alleged malpractice. If you can't demonstrate with evidence with consequences, costs, etc., you will not receive any compensation. At the same time, however, a malpractice case is expensive to bring, since you need to hire a medical expert (e.g. doctor) to testify, and such can cost thousands of dollars. Base on what you write, it appears you could spend far more on any legal action than you would get back.
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