What are my rights if I had a miscarriage last week that was not properly treated?

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What are my rights if I had a miscarriage last week that was not properly treated?

The ER said everything was out before releasing me therefore they did not perform a DNC. Today, the fetus came out at home. Pain has been severe the past couple days and still is right now. Is this a medical malpractice and, if so, what steps can I take to prevent that hospital from halfway doing their job again?

Asked on August 9, 2015 under Malpractice Law, Tennessee

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

It may be malpractice: the issue isn't whether they missed some material, but whether they were negligent, or unreasonably careless, in missing it. The law accepts that the practice of medicine is not perfect; if reasonable doctors under those circumstances, based with what they could see or otherwise determine,  would have missed the additional fetal material, there is no malpractice. Only if the hospital was careless in some way would there be malpractice.

Malpractice lawsuits are expensive: you would need a medical expert witness, and they can charge thousands of dollars (plus you should hire an attorney for a malpractice case, and would have his/her cost, too). But you can only recover your additional medical costs caused by malpractice, lost wages, if any, other direct out of pocket costs, and--if you suffer significant, long-lasting disability or impairment--possibly some amount for "pain and suffering."  So a malpractice suit may not be economically worthwhile.

You could file a complaint with the state medical licensing board, however, which will not get you money, but may get a measure of satisfaction.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

It may be malpractice: the issue isn't whether they missed some material, but whether they were negligent, or unreasonably careless, in missing it. The law accepts that the practice of medicine is not perfect; if reasonable doctors under those circumstances, based with what they could see or otherwise determine,  would have missed the additional fetal material, there is no malpractice. Only if the hospital was careless in some way would there be malpractice.

Malpractice lawsuits are expensive: you would need a medical expert witness, and they can charge thousands of dollars (plus you should hire an attorney for a malpractice case, and would have his/her cost, too). But you can only recover your additional medical costs caused by malpractice, lost wages, if any, other direct out of pocket costs, and--if you suffer significant, long-lasting disability or impairment--possibly some amount for "pain and suffering."  So a malpractice suit may not be economically worthwhile.

You could file a complaint with the state medical licensing board, however, which will not get you money, but may get a measure of satisfaction.


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