What is our recourse regarding a misdiagnosis of a transverse lumbar spine fracture?
Question Details: My 17 year old complained of lower back pain. He was X-rayed and told it was a tendon tear, then a muscle strain. After almost a month, a CT was done and revealed a L1 transverse spine fracture.
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).
You will need to be appointed guardian ad litem to file a lawsuit on behalf of your son because he is a minor.
Prior to filing a lawsuit for negligence, it may be possible to settle the case with the doctor's malpractice insurance carrier. Your son's claim should include his medical bills and medical reports when he completes his treatment and is released by the doctor or is declared by the doctor to be permanent and stationary, which means having reached a point in his treatment where no further improvement is anticipated.
Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement. The medical reports document the medical condition and medical treatment, and are used to determine compensation for pain and suffering which is an amount in addition to the medical bills. I assume there isn't any wage loss claim since your son is a minor. (Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement).
If the case is settled with the malpractice insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.
If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the malpractice insurance carrier, reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence against the doctor, on behalf of your son.
If the case is NOT settled, the lawsuit against the doctor must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or your son will lose his rights in the matter forever.