If my doctor failed to identitfy a foot fracture, what canI do?

UPDATED: Jan 2, 2012

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If my doctor failed to identitfy a foot fracture, what canI do?

About 3 months ago I suspected a fracture in my left foot. I went to the doctor. He did an X-ray and told me it was just a sprain and that all I have to do is stay off of the treadmill. I did so but then last week I further injured the same foot. Upon ER X-rays, they found that I did indeed have a healing fracture. If the fracture had been identified in the first place, I would not have further injured it. Is there anything that I can do?

Asked on January 2, 2012 under Malpractice Law, Virginia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

IF the doctor committed malpractice--that is, the medical care was not up to current acceptable standards--you may have a cause of action against him. Note that simply being wrong does not necessarily mean malpractice--sometimes doctors do everything right but still misdiagnose. For example, foot fractures are often suprisinglyh hard to identify, even by X-ray. Only if the doctor were careless, was not properly trained, was drunk or otherwise incapacitated, was using inadequate equipment, or somehow missed a very obvious diagnosis that any doctor should have made, etc.  would there necessarily be malpractice.

Even if there was malpracctice, you could only recover an amount of money equivalent to the extent of the injury and the medical costs and lost wages (if any) you incured due to the malpractice. Since you need a medical expert of your own to bring a malpractice case, it may not be worthwhile taking action.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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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