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RobertJDFL, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 13479
Experience:  Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
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I sustained injury from a botched steroid in my back from a

Customer Question

I sustained injury from a botched steroid in my back from a doctor at the Spine Institute in Murrieta, Calif. on January 20, 2016. Can I sue in small claims court for pain and suffering? I am 66 years old, female, not interested in pursuing a formal lawsuit, just too much stress, but I would like to have the satisfaction of at least getting a few dollars for my excruciating pain in the aftermath of the procedure, along with all the hassle of having to see the acupuncturist, physical therapist, etc. My insurance does cover most of these expenses, just not the time and nuisance, not to mention whatever may come up in the future as a result of this injection.......My whole left pelvic area and leg are numb. The MRI clearly shows where the injection hit the spinal cord, which was verified by a second neurologist to me, and the original Doctor never pointed this out after sending me in for another MRI after I complained about the numbness. He had access to the information but never bothered to show it to me.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for using Just Answer. I look forward to assisting you.

I am sorry to hear what happened and your ongoing pain and suffering. While nothing prevents you from filing suit in small claims in California, it's not advisable. If you are suing for medical malpractice, the law says you need to prove that (1) the doctor or other professional breached (broke) the duty of care owed to you and (2) you suffered damages as a direct and proximate cause of the breach. These legal requirements are very hard to prove, and you will need expert witnesses to do it. First, expert witness fees are very expensive. If you have a lawyer representing you on a “contingency” basis (meaning the lawyer only gets paid if you win), which is typically how medical malpractice cases are taken on, so there's no initial costs to you -- the lawyer will usually hire and pay for the expert witness upfront, so you will not have to reimburse the lawyer until the case is over. If you are representing yourself and do not have a lawyer to advance these costs, you may not be able to afford the experts you need to prove your case. Also, getting an expert witness and establishing to the court that he or she is an expert can also be very complicated and should be handled by a trained and experienced lawyer.

Ultimately, the decision is yours -you do have the right to file in small claims, but before you decide to do so, I would encourage you to consult with one or two medical malpractice attorneys for a case review (these consultations are also usually free of charge) and then decide how you wish to proceed.

Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.

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