What are the laws regarding suing a doctor/hospital for lack of proper treatment?
Question Details: About 5 years ago I was in an accident where I was a passenger; we were T-boned by another vehicle. I had a collapsed lung, 8 broken ribs, and a neck injury. I was told there was no other damage even when I repeatedly told the doctor that the fingers on my left hand were numb and tingling and my shoulder was hurting horribly. They said there is no damage to my shoulder I was just sore. I told them something was definitely wrong since my shoulder is no longer sitting correctly and a big bone is sticking up. Again they took me to have X-rays done which showed no damage and the doctor told me that he didn't know what he was supposed to do about it. Now my fingertips constantly tingle and are numb and shoots farther up my arm if I use it in anyway and the shoulder itself with feel like it's just hanging there about to fall off. It gets worse everyday and I'm afraid I will have no use of it one day and if they would have done something than it would be OK.
There are several challenges you face to a successful legal action:
1) The statute of limitations: you have to bring a medical malpractice case within 2 years of the medical care, or 1 year of the earlier of when you did in fact discover the injury or reasonably *should* have discovered it. Depending on when you became aware of the issues, you may be too late to take legal action.
2) You need medical evidence, like the expert opinion of a relevant doctor (e.g. an orthopedic surgeon or a neurologist) that based on the symptoms and test results *at the time* of the medical care, the treating phsysician or hospital should done more--that is, some medically supported reasons for the idea that the treatment was deficient.
3) And you also need medical evidence that the lack of treatment or the type of treatment you had has caused the problems you are experiencing.
So you may have a malpractice case, but it is not a given. If you have been working with a lawyer but he or she is not responsive, consult with another lawyer IMMEDIATELY to see if you do have a viable case and are still in time to bring one and, if so, to actually start or file the case. And if you haven't been working with an attorney, again, consult with one now.