What, if any, case do we have regarding costs relating to a misdiagnosis?
Question Details: My fiance blacked out at work. I picked her up and took her to urgent care. Urgent care proceeded to give her a pregnancy test and tell her that she needed to have a hemoglobin to test her anemia. They stated that they could not perform this test and that she needed to leave and go to the ER since this was a potentially life-threatening situation. We have these statements by her physician on her discharge papers. We rushed to the ER and they conducted the test. However, they determined that her levels were normal and couldn't find anything wrong. I called the hotline and complained to urgent care. Come to find out, urgent care had the ability to conduct the test; the lab tech was new and didn't know they could conduct the test. They refunded the $40 urgent care co-pay. However, we recently received a $1200 bill from the ER for the visit. Are there any legal grounds to force urgent care to cover this ER bill since they literally forced us to go there even when they could in fact perform the task we were going to the ER to receive?
It is very doubtful that you have a viable cause of action: the problem is, to prove a malpractice case, you need medical expert testimony (e.g. a doctor who examined you to testify) that the care you received was negligent or careless--the court will not accept layperson (i.e. your) testimony about that, but needs an expert to confirm it. However, such experts cannot be forced to testify: you have to pay them for their time. While the costs may be higher in my area (NJ and NYC) than in yours, based on the costs I've seen, you would expect to pay at least $1,500 for even simple doctor testimony (the doctor's time to review the situation, run other tests if need be, review the medical literature, write a report, and give testimony). You cannot get this cost back from the other side. You will spend more, even without a lawyer, on the lawsuit than you can get back.