How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Ely Your Own Question

Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 85101
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
Type Your Legal Question Here...
Ely is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My son was in a dirt bike accident on March 12th, 2013. He

Resolved Question:

My son was in a dirt bike accident on March 12th, 2013. He was flown to a level 1 trauma unit with a burst fracture of C7. He was seen by a couple of doctors, but the neurosurgeon put him in a brace and said that his fracture was stable and he was able to go home in the brace and heal, get an x-ray at 4 weeks, have them sent to him for review, see him at 8 weeks and possibly out of the brace either at that appointment or at 12 weeks. At 4 weeks, we did x-rays and sent them to the physician. He received no phone calls back from this physician despite repeatedly making attempts to talk to him about the x-rays. After a week, finally got to speak with his assistant who stated that the x-rays looked stable but she would have the doctor call. She called later stating that the doctor just wanted to see him at 12 weeks. I asked if that was safe waiting 12 weeks with a neck fracture. She stated yes and to set up an appointment. We did set up the appt to return to this doctor, but upon leaving the trauma unit, they had given us a copy of the CT scan. I opened this report after getting no response from the doctor and the x-ray read was in the report stating that my son had an UNSTABLE fracture with retropulsion of bone into the spine. I then found a new doctor for my son. Upon going to this new doctor, my son had lost strength in the right side. My son was set up for immediate surgery to remove the shattered bones in his neck (anterior/posterior corpectomy and fusion), as otherwise it would eventually paralyze him. This new doctor performed an MRI (as the first one did not) and it showed the spinal canal narrowed from 16 mm to 8 mm at the fracture site. The monitoring showed weakness in the right side and after surgery, he showed weakness in the right side. Our original doctor never contacted us again, even when we missed our appt at 12 weeks. Another doctor on the original "team" at the level 1 trauma unit also told us that this injury would not paralyze my son. We were sent home without any instructions on how to care for him, etc. This is a brief overview of the case. At 17, my son could have been paralyzed by this doctor who failed to do any surgical intervention and sent him home within 24 hours. He fell 25 feet from the air, landing on his feet and falling forward onto his face. I also told the doctors at the first facility that I thought possibly his nose was broke. He never got any x-rays on his face. They also never x-rayed his lower spine or hips and my son complained of pain in the lower back on returning home. Our family physician performed lower x-rays when we returned home which were, luckily okay. I am wondering if we have any type of case??? Negligence/malpractice???
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Ely replied 7 months ago.
Hello friend. My name is XXXXX XXXXX welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies.

I am sorry for your son's situation. You state that your son "could have been" paralyzed. Just to clarify, can you please tell me what (if any) long term or permanent injury was caused by the original physician's action/inaction?

Or, he is recovering, but simply no thinks to the original physician?

This is not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.

He is recovering. The surgery was on May 9th, 2013.

Expert:  Ely replied 7 months ago.
Thank you.

Hmm, he may have a case, but it would not be very strong. But, he may still likely be able to get something in settlement. Allow me to explain.

To sue in a state court, one needs to have a "cause of action." There are numerous causes of action, such as "breach of contract," "negligence," "fraud," "unjust enrichment," etc., as well as causes of action rooted in statutory law. Every state has their own although they are very similar to each other in every state because they all stem from the same common law. A pleading in Court needs at least one cause of action, although it is not unusual to have more than one.

This is medical malpractice, arguably. As a matter of law, in order to establish a [] malpractice claim, three elements must be proved: (1) the [physician] owed a duty of care to the plaintiff, (2) the attorney breached that duty, and (3) the attorney proximately caused damage to the plaintiff. Bebo Constr. Co. v. Mattox, 990 P.2d 78, 83 (Colo.1999).

Here, the issue is that the injury is HEALING. There is no permanent damage, arguably. If so, the jury would be a lot less likely to award damages if there IS no permanent injury.

However, medical entities carry insurance that bounce to a settlement in many cases just to avoid possible litigation. An attorney is recommended. This is because they do not see you as much of a threat without an attorney since your filing or winning a suit without counsel is unlikely. So they are less likely to settle. But with an attorney, it is likely that actual litigation would be executed, and the insurance company may then offer a settlement just to make one go away.

May I recommend the CO Bar referral program - here. The attorneys are vetted and qualified. You should be able to find an attorney you are confident with and whom you can trust, and who is available ASAP.

Then a settlement is usually reached. The attorney should take this on a contingency basis, meaning they do not get paid unless you do. Usual set up is their take is 33% settlement, 40% win at trial, 45% at appeal; plus some office costs. Everything is negotiable.

Please note: I aim to give you genuine information and not necessarily to tell you only what you wish to hear. Please, rate me on the quality of my information and do not punish me for my honesty. I understand that hearing things less than optimal is not easy, and I empathize.

Gentle Reminder: Please use the REPLY button to keep chatting, or RATE my answer when we are finished. Kindly rate my answer as one of the top three faces and then submit, as this is how I get credit for my time with you. Rating my answer the bottom two faces does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith. (You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.)
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 85101
Experience: Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
Ely and 13 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
< Last | Next >
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
  • Not only did he answer my Michigan divorce question but was also able to help me out with it, too. I have since won my legal case on this matter and thank you so much for it. Lee Michigan
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Tina's Avatar

    Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8201
    JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MU/multistatelaw/2011-11-27_173951_Tinaglamourshotworkglow102011.64x64.jpg Tina's Avatar

    Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8201
    JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RA/ratioscripta/2012-6-13_2955_foto3.64x64.jpg Ely's Avatar

    Ely

    Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    19419
    Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/FL/FLAandNYLawyer/2012-1-27_14349_3Fotolia25855429M.64x64.jpg FiveStarLaw's Avatar

    FiveStarLaw

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    8122
    25 years of experience helping people like you.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/jespoag/2008-12-17_222355_jessepic.jpg JPEsq's Avatar

    JPEsq

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    2131
    Experience as general attorney, in house counsel, SSDI, Family Law attorney, and law professor
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/gsenmartin/2008-04-22_214950_me1.jpg Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.'s Avatar

    Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    83
    7+ years of experience handling various legal matters.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PA/PaulmoJD/2013-10-10_195858_JAImage.64x64.jpg Law Educator, Esq.'s Avatar

    Law Educator, Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    30758
    JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/dkaplun/2009-05-17_173121_headshot_1_2.jpg Dimitry K., Esq.'s Avatar

    Dimitry K., Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    15340
    Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.