Do I have a case against the hospital whose ER doctor incorrectly set my dislocated elbow?
Question Details: About 2years ago (my state's statute of limitations being 3 years), I suffered a dislocated elbow during a soccer game. When I got to the ER the doctor tried to set it 6 times before he got it to stay. It turns out that you can't just yank a dislocated elbow back into place like a shoulder. You have to pull it up and around the joint to set it correctly. Months later, the swelling went down and I noticed that the affected elbow looked very different from my other. It now clicks and grinds, which will likely necessitate corrective surgery. I'm still paying off the bill from the initial ER visit, which was steep. I'm wondering if I can litigate against that hospital for their practice that night so that I can pay for a corrective surgery in the future. I will call that hospital to request the medical records.
Based on what you write, you would appear to have a claim against the doctor: his treatment of you appears to have been negligent, or unreasonably careless. You may well also have a case against the hospital since he was working at it when he treated you and presumably under its supervision (if not actually its employee) at the time. In such a case, you could recover medical costs incurred to date due to the malpractice; future medical costs; and for long-term or permanent life impairment or disabiility, some amount for pain and suffering. So based on what you write, you may well have a viable case and should consult with a medical malpractice attorney to better understand what it might be worth, the cost to bring it, and the likelihood of success. Many such lawyers will provide a free consultation to initially evaluate a case; you can check about this with their office before making the appointment.