What can be done if my daughter was sick for over a year with gallstones but she was treated for mental problems in the little hometown doctor’s office?

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What can be done if my daughter was sick for over a year with gallstones but she was treated for mental problems in the little hometown doctor’s office?

I took her to a hospital where they took out her gallbladder. She was running a fever and went to the local hospital but was told by her former doctor to go home and forget about the fever. They have treated her this way for over a year. They also admitted that they knew about the gallbladder. Is their any steps she can take for compensation?

Asked on October 21, 2015 under Malpractice Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

This might be malpractice, if a reasonable doctor would have diagnosed differently, recommended different treatment, or at least run more tests if that there the case, then a failure to do so could be medically negligent, or malpractice. The question is, what injuries or costs did it impose on your daughter? If she had some sickness and fever for a year, that might be worth something in "pain and suffering," but not much--clearly, the situation did not become so acute for most of that time as to require immediate hospitalization or urgent care, so her problems were relatively low grade. Relatively low grade problems do not often support large amounts of compensation. She could also get the additional medical costs she incurred due to how this doctor diagnosed or treated her, but as stated, that would be the "additional" costs--costs over and above what she would have incurred with prompt action, for example. If at the end of the day, her out-of-pocket medical costs were more or less what they would have been anyway, there's little or no compensation available. 
Meanwhile, medical malpractice lawsuits can be very expensive--you have to hire a medical expert or experts, and almost certainly need an attorney--so unless she had large costs or some lingering or permanent problem from this, she could spend more suing than she'd get back.


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