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Attorney Wayne
Attorney Wayne, Attorney
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Experience:  Practicing law since 2000.
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We took my 7 year old grandson to urgent care facility suffering

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We took my 7 year old grandson to urgent care facility suffering from stomach pains. They diagnosed it as constipation and sent him home with a prescription for a stool softener.
Six days and much suffering later we took him to hospital emergency room to learn he had a ruptured appendix with severe abcesses. Do we have any recourse against the urgent care facility?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Attorney Wayne replied 6 years ago.
Hello. Thanks for contacting us. I am so sorry to hear of your grandson's malady!

If by redress, you mean a malpractice suit against the facility or the doctor who examined the boy, it will be necessary to have your own lawyer review all the facts and circumstances to determine the strength of any case.

The key question is whether, at the time the boy was examined, the doctor's conclusion was "reasonable." A lawyer who has handled medical malpractice, working with you confidentially, under the protection of attorney client privilege can provide the kind of inquiry to help you decide if a lawsuit is worthwhile. (A publicly accessible information service simply cannot provide that).

Medical Malpractice law is one of those fields in which many lawyers will work without charging anyone an upfront fee. Many medical malpractice lawyers will take cases, if they believe they are winnable, by accepting a percentage of the settlement or court award once the matter is wrapped up. Under this arrangement (called {"on contingency"), the client does not pay for legal services if the case if lost.

This is also a good way to evaluate the strength of a case -- as most lawyers won't take a contingency case that won't get them paid. They don't always win, but they know when a case has no chance.

To find a lawyer, I would recommend visiting www.martindale.com -- a website lawyers use when they need expertise unavailable in their own firms. You enter the city and state, and choose a practice area (medical malpractice). The site provides a list of peer reviewed lawyers with ratings. If you don't find any in the first place you choose, check larger nearby towns or cities.

I wish your grandson a speedy recovery, and I wish you and your family all the best as you seek to resolve this matter.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I was not really thinking in terms of a malpractice suit. Since he is uninsured I was looking for them to forgive the fee for visit to urgent care and the possibility of taking care of resulting hospital expenses.
Expert:  Attorney Wayne replied 6 years ago.
You can ask them. But its not usual that a medical practitioner would simply agree to that. You may get some accommodation, but do not be surprised if you are rebuffed -- and will then need a lawyer's help through a malpractice action.

Often, once a lawyer starts making inquiries and writing letters, the precautioned will then bring in his or her insurance company, which may enter into negotiations to settle matters.

Many matters are settled long before there's a lawsuit filed, or if a suit is filed, long before it goes to a jury.

More power to you if you can get them to accommodate your requests without resort to lawyers. If you want to try, I would start by sending a certified letter, return receipt requested to the care center, return receipt requested. Keep a copy of the receipt and the letter as proof. If you don't get anywhere, you can still get a lawyer to help.

Again, I wish you and your family all the best.
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