What are my rights if I received the wrong vaccine at my doctor’s office?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What are my rights if I received the wrong vaccine at my doctor’s office?

I went in to the doctor that my employer uses to get a flu shot, however the nurse accidentally gave me a shot for Hepatitis B. I am Type 2 diabetic and my wife and I were very upset about this as it was extremely negligent. I went back there today to get my paperwork and the lady at the front counter was rude to me. Really? Should I pursue this legally as it caused us quite a bit of emotional distress?

Asked on November 20, 2017 under Malpractice Law, Virginia


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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Medical malpractice is negligence.  Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable medical practitioner in the community would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).  The doctor is liable for the negligence of an employee (nurse) which occurred during the course and scope of employment.
You will need to document an injury from the vaccine with medical treatment in order to have a medical malpractice case.  If you can document the emotional distress with treatment from a psychiatrist or psychologist, you have a case.
Upon completion of your medical treatment and being released by the psychiatrist or psychologist, obtain your medical bills, medical reports, and if applicable, documentation of wage loss.  Your claim filed with the doctor's malpractice insurance carrier should include those items.
Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document your emotional distress and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.
If the case is settled with the doctor's malpractice insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.
If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the malpractice insurance carrier, reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence against the doctor.
If the case is NOT settled, your lawsuit for negligence against the doctor must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.

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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