What legal options do I have?
UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022
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What legal options do I have?
In April 2016 I stayed a hospital with severe abdominal pain. After a week and a doctor insulting me before my surgery I had my gallbladder taken out. I was released from the hospital and learned my dr had left the hospital. I began experiencing a rash above my wound and discharge where I saw one doctor who gave me antibiotics and another doctor who said it was just heat rash. After another couple of days I saw my gastro who referred me to a surgeon which I saw the next day. I had exploratory surgery in September of 2016 where the surgeon removed a sutured stitch. I am still discharging it
smells and quite frankly it’s disgusting. The doctors have no answer. Other that she isn’t sure why my original doctor used the stitch that he used. I am embarrassed to love my life because I constantly have to change my cause and control an odor. It has been just over 8 months. I have a loss of interest in life. I can’t work. I can’t find love. I don’t go out
because I’m so embarrassed.
Asked on December 27, 2016 under Malpractice Law, New York
SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney
Answered 5 years ago | Contributor
If the suture used was improper and/or was not properly done and that's what caused the problem, this may be malpractice. If it was, you may be entitled to compensation in the sum of:
* Your additional out-of-pocket (not paid by insurance) medical costs;
* Lost wages, if any;
* Some amount for "pain and suffering", but since the injury appears to be mostly odor, not physical disability (e.g. not an inabiity to walk, to stand, to use an arm, etc.), it is unclear how much you might get--it is possible the pain and suffering award would not be large.
Against what you might win, you have to balance that medical malpractice lawsuits can be very expensive: you really should have an attorney, and you need to hire a medical expert to write reports and testify.
It would be worthwhile to consult in person and in detail with some medical malpractice attorneys about your case; many such lawyers provide a free initial consultation, and you can (and should) inquire about this before making the appointment or discussing the matter. If experienced attorneys feel the case is economically worthwhile, it likely is worth bringing; conversely, if they feel it's not worthwhile, it probably is not.
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