What are my rights if I was misdiagnosed as having rheumatoid arthritis and now I suffer from the side effect of the drugs that were prescribed to me?

UPDATED: Oct 26, 2013

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What are my rights if I was misdiagnosed as having rheumatoid arthritis and now I suffer from the side effect of the drugs that were prescribed to me?

I was given methotrexate, humira and enbrel, all known to cause neuropathy problems. I have just found out through a new set of doctors that I do not have RA; I have a disorder so commonly misdiagnosed as RA they have a flow chart. It is hemochromatosis. However, I also have neuropathy which I believe is from the wrong drugs they gave me. I have had a significant delay in treatment leaving me already with joint damage. Do I have a case?

Asked on October 26, 2013 under Malpractice Law, California


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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Medical malpractice is negligence.  Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable medical malpractitioner in the community would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).

If the new doctor(s) you mentioned write(s) a report supporting a malpractice claim against your original doctor who misdiagnosed you, proceed with your medical malpractice claim against the original doctor.

It may be possible to settle the case with the original doctor's malpractice insurance carrier without filing a lawsuit.  Your claim filed with that malpractice insurance carrier should include your medical bills, medical reports (especially the report from your new doctor) and documentation of any wage loss.

Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will determine the nature and extent of your condition 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 original 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 original doctor.  If the case is NOT settled with the malpractice insurance carrier, your lawsuit for negligence 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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