What to do if a misdiagnosis resulted in my losing 25% of my hearing?

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What to do if a misdiagnosis resulted in my losing 25% of my hearing?

I saw a doctor at a clinic for severe ear pain and some hearing loss after an allergy attack. He prescribed steroids, nasal spray and ear drops for pain. After a week I was much worse and saw a specialist, who said my ears were severely infected and prescribed a strong antibiotic. Long story short, I have lost about 25% of my hearing. Is there a case in this?

Asked on December 12, 2012 under Malpractice Law, Texas

Answers:

Catherine Blackburn / Blackburn Law Firm

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You probably do not have a meritorious medical malpractice case.  Even if you have a case, it is probably not a good idea to pursue it.  Let me explain.

Proof of malpractice requires several steps.  The first is to prove that the clinic doctor should have known you had an infection on the first visit.  That may or may not be easy given your history of allergies.  You may not have had an infection at all on the clinic visit.  Steroids inhibit the response of our natural immune system, so you may have developed the infection later. Bottom line - it seems to me that negligence is not entirely clear.  Proving negligence requires expert testimony.

The next step is to identify the cause of the hearing loss.  You assume the infection caused your hearing loss, but that may not be true.  In addition, your hearing may well improve over time.  Proving the cause of the loss requires expert testimony.

Proving all of these items costs money.  You also have to pay your attorney.  In the end, you may recover less than you spend.  This is why I question the wisdom of pursing a case.  Having said that, medical malpractice lawyers do not charge for consultations.  It will cost you nothing to call several attorneys and see if they have a different opinion.

I hope this helps.  Good luck.


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