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Should we get a lawyer?
My wife had a pacemaker put in at an outpatient center. During procedure doctor stated they gave her something extra bc she got anxious. While being discharged the wife was having extreme pain and difficulty breathing. We were told get prescribed meds and she should be good.
Long story short. Next day went back to Dr and found they punctured her lung during the procedure. A chest tube was put in and we stayed 5 days in the hospital. She was in pain the entire time.
Now bills are coming in. What can/should we do?
Asked on February 15, 2017 under Malpractice Law, Louisiana
S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney
Answered 6 years ago | Contributor
It would be advisable to speak with a medical malpractice attorney.
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).
Prior to filing a lawsuit for negligence against the doctor, it may be possible to settle the case with the doctor's malpractice insurance carrier.
Your wife's claim filed with the malpractice insurance carrier should include your wife's medical bills, medical reports, and documentation of wage loss.
Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement. The medical reports will document the punctured lung 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 malpractice insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.
If your wife is dissatisfied with settlement offers from the malpractice insurance carrier, she should reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence against the doctor.
If the case is NOT settled, the lawsuit for negligence against the doctor must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or your wife will lose her rights in the matter forever.
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