Do I have a case regarding becoming disabled from a routine surgery?
Question Details: Last year I had surgery on my cervical spine C3 to C7 due to some calcification. In recovery, about 14 hours after my surgery, I awakened and could feel or move nothing below my neck. After 10 days, I was sent to a spinal cord injury hospital. I spent 6 weeks there. I regained some movements on 1 side of my body. I was then sent to a rehabilitation center for the next several months. I am now permanently disabled and can no longer work. Due to my unsteady gait, I use a walker. Up until the day of my surgery, I worked as a professional 40-60 hours/week. Mentally, I'm depressed. I loved my job. Now I have to depend on others for my care. Do I have a case? If so, what would be a reasonable settlement?
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).
Negligence on the part of the hospital is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable hospital would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).
Prior to filing a lawsuit for negligence against the doctor and hospital, it may be possible to settle the case with their respective malpractice insurance carriers.
Your claims filed with the malpractice insurance carriers should include your medical bills, medical reports, and documentation of wage loss.
Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement. The medical reports document your condition and are 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.
The medical reports should also state an estimate of the future cost of your medical care.
In your unfortunate situation, a reasonable settlement should be multimillion.
If the case is settled with the malpractice insurance carriers for the doctor and hospital, NO lawsuit is filed.
If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the insurance carriers, reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence against the doctor and hospital.
If the case is settled with one, but not both parties (doctor and hospital), only name the party with whom the case has not settled as a defendant in your lawsuit.
If the case is NOT settled, 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.