Hi my baby has been in the hospital and 10 days ago the nurse inserted a food tube that ended up coiling around his chest and created complications. They had to insert a chest tube to drain air from the chest cavity. Also doctors are not clear how the food tube went there and are not giving much details other than saying the baby is doing better don't worry about it. Clearly there was panic when this happened amoung the doctors and i can see that this kind of incident happens very very rarely. #1 What do i need to do get a detailed report about the accident to protect my son and myself should there be any issues later#2 how long can i wait if i have to file a lawsuit, hospital is in PA state.
Thanks for the chance to assist on this matter. I am an attorney with over 12 years experience. Hopefully I can help you with your legal questionsI am sorry for this dilemma. This sound like a possible medical malpractice case. You are entitled to your son's health records by law. If you make a request in writing, the hospital is required to provide you his records.Now...they are not required to generate a "detailed report". If you want this, you would have to sue them and obtain it through the discovery process (more on that below) But they are required to give you the records that they have.PA has a 2 year statute of limitations for medical malpractice. You have 2 years from the date of the incident to file suit. And you would want to seek legal counsel several months prior to that to give your lawyer time to prepare and file a suit.Now, lets discuss malpractice:To successfully sue for medical malpractice, you must meet the four part test:1. A duty was owed - a legal duty exists whenever a hospital or health care provider undertakes care or treatment of a patient. They have a "duty" to treat you with "due care". This is typically easy to prove.2. The duty was breached - the provider failed to conform to the relevant standard of care. The standard of care is proved by expert testimony or by obvious errors (the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur or 'the thing speaks for itself'). This is often the tough part...since you have to prove, with expert testimony, that, basically, the doctor or in this case the nurse messed this up...that they were "negligent". 3. The breach caused or aggravated an injury - The breach of duty was a proximate cause of the injury. If you can show they messed up, its often easy to the next step...that the mess up caused the injury. Not always, each case is different, but certainly if you can show they messed it up, you are well on your way to show that the mistake caused the injury.4. Damages - Without damages (losses which may be pecuniary or emotional), there is no basis for a claim, regardless of whether the medical provider was negligent.This is often the second hardest part to prove, since you need to have serious injury to convince an attorney to bring the case. For your case, if your son pulls through this with no complications or adverse impacts, your damages would be nominal...but if he is injured at all that could be a case with significant damages. Based on your description, it appears you may indeed have a case. If you can show that the treating nurse made an error in the procedure and that the error harmed your son, you would have a strong case. As I mentioned, if you sue them, you go into a process where you can demand "discovery" which includes written and/or oral statements from the hospital that detail exactly what happened. So if there was malpractice, and you sue, you would be able to prove it with the evidence you gain in discovery.Let me know if you have more questions.
12 Years experience in the law
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).