If I had a medical procedure and was not informed of the possible consequences, can I hold the doctor respsonible?

UPDATED: Aug 4, 2011

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If I had a medical procedure and was not informed of the possible consequences, can I hold the doctor respsonible?

I went to foot doctor to get a bone spur checked out. He suggested a shot of steroids and pain killers together; said I wouldn’t have a problem with it after that. I was never informed by the doctor or the nurse that it was a greater chance that the Achilles tendon in my ankle could rupture. Almost 3 weeks later my tendon ruptured and now I have had to have a $6000 surgery on my ankle. I have no insurance to cover this because my job doesn’t offer insurance. I will also miss 4 to 6 weeks of work. I would have never taken it if I knew what it could cause.

Asked on August 4, 2011 Virginia


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Check the consent form you signed for the steroid injection to see if the risk of an Achilles tendon rupture is mentioned.  If it is not mentioned, you may have a claim for medical malpractice.  It would be advisable to be examined by another doctor and have that doctor review your medical records.  That doctor's opinion may support a claim for medical malpractice.  Medical malpractice is based on negligence.

It would be advisable to speak with a medical malpractice attorney.

It may be possible to settle your case with the insurance carrier for the foot doctor.  Your claim would include your medical bills, medical reports, and documentation of wage loss.  Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of your injury and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering.  Compensation for pain and suffering is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the foot doctor's insurance carrier, reject the offers and file your lawsuit for negligence against that doctor.  If the case is NOT settled with the insurance carrier, you will need to file your lawsuit prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.


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