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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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How do i hold doctors accountable when i have gone to

Customer Question

How do i hold doctors accountable when i have gone to doctors for a problem for months that has gotten wprse and suffering has increased tremendously in the last couple months and im getting simple test repeated and no diagnosis they need to do something else or refer me to someone else
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 3 months ago.

Hello and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do everything I can to answer your question.

It depends what you mean by "accountable." Are you asking if you can sue for money damages? What precisely do you want to accomplish here? I very much look forward to helping you on this matter.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I might want money damages because of negligence of misdiagnosis or more precisely no diagnosis. I have given them plenty of time to figure out what is wrong
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 3 months ago.

Thank you.

The only way to hold a doctor financially responsible would be to sue them for medical malpractice. To prevail on a claim for medical malpractice, you need to establish that your treating physician's care fell below the relevant standard of care in the medical community, and this this failure resulted in injury to you.

I have to be honest with you when I say that a failure to diagnose you is not an easy basis for a malpractice claim unless there was some clear error made (i.e. the doctor never reviewed a diagnostic report, or a diagnostic report was clearly misinterpreted). Medicine is an art as much as a science, and sometimes it takes a while to figure out what someone's underlying medical condition is. Without being able to point to a specific failure to some kind, it's not enough to simply allege that diagnosis took too long.

The next issue is cost. Medical malpractice costs are extremely expensive to litigate because only another doctor is in a position to testify that the standard of medical care was not met. Doctors charge between $500-1,000 to testify, which means that you will usually wind up spending $20,000-50,000 to try a medical malpractice case in court. Those kinds of costs are simply not worth it when the prospect for recovery is not quite large.

This brings me to the third issue, which is damages. You need to prove that you were harmed in a specific way as a result of your doctor's failure to diagnose you. Can you prove that your medical condition could have been cured sooner with a proper diagnosis? If you cannot, then you cannot establish damages. And even if you can prove this, a jury is unlikely to award substantial damages because your medical condition took longer than it should have to resolve. So, being completely honest here, the prospects of any substantial monetary recovery are not large.

A more realistic goal may be to get your doctor to refund some of the costs of your treatment to date. You don't want to explicitly threaten a malpractice lawsuit, which will not be well-received and will generally have a very polarizing effect, but you can mention that you believe you were not treated in a manner that meets the relevant standard of care and that you should not have to pay for repeated and unecessary diagnostics. You can also file a complaint with the CA Medical Board. You just want to be careful not to threaten a complaint to the Board if you are not refunded, as that might be construed as extortion which is illegal. Finally, you can write a negative review about this physician online, and you can seek treatment elsewhere rather than continuing to treat with someone who may be incompetent or unable to help you.

I hope that you find this information helpful. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.

If you do not require any further assistance, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you. Very best wishes moving forward.

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