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ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq, Attorney
Category: Personal Injury Law
Satisfied Customers: 17113
Experience:  Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
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I went to the hospital for chest pains (ER) and after all the

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I went to the hospital for chest pains (ER) and after all the testing was sent home when they said nothing was wrong with me. 2 1/2 months later I had a heart attack and was taken by ambulance to the same hospital. Is there any recourse I have here, because they didn't find the problem the first time?

ScottyMacEsq :

Thank you for using JustAnswer. I am researching your issue and will respond shortly.

ScottyMacEsq :

I'm sorry to hear about your situation. There could be a case here, IF you could show that they should have found something. That is, any case would be based upon "negligence" law. The specific subset would be "medical malpractice". To be able to win in such a claim, you would need to show that the doctors / nurses acted in a manner contrary to a reasonable degree of professionalism.

ScottyMacEsq :

The "failure to diagnose" has to show that the doctor necessarily should have diagnosed the problem if he/she was acting in a reasonably prudent manner. Now to be honest, to win a malpractice case against emergency room doctors / nurses is more difficult, because context matters. If this was a cardiologist that could not find the problem, that would be a different matter, as the cardiologist would have more training and specialty, and under the circumstances it would be less likely that he would fail to find the problem. Next, "failure to diagnose" is more difficult to win than a "misdiagnose" case. The reason is that there are only so many resources at the disposal of any doctor, much less an emergency room, so to prove that the ER doctors necessarily should have known and breached a specific duty in failing to diagnose would be very difficult to show.

ScottyMacEsq :

Finally, in ANY legal case, you have to show harm. That is, I understand that you suffered a heart attack... You would have had to have shown that had they diagnosed it earlier, you more likely than not would not have suffered said heart attack, and that the heart attack can be quantified to a specific dollar sum.

ScottyMacEsq :

While in the right circumstances, there could be a case, everything would have to go just right and line up for it to be a "profitable" case. I say "profitable" merely because that's how any attorney that would take the case would look at it. They would look at the costs (including expert medical testimony, depositions, etc... which could easily cost $25,000 or more) and see if the likelihood of a recovery times the likely recovery amount would be significantly more than the cost. If not, then the case would not be an economically feasible case for an attorney.

ScottyMacEsq :

And while you could sue on your own, medical malpractice cases are VERY specialized. Even general practice attorneys don't handle medical malpractice cases because of the traps and pitfalls that they could run into, as well as the medical expertise needed.

ScottyMacEsq :

In short, while it's possible that you could have a winning case, the possibilities are difficult to assess without the right facts and evidence, and even then, the costs might outweigh the recovery. So in short, I'm afraid that based upon my experience, you almost certainly would not have an economically viable case.

ScottyMacEsq :

I know that this is probably not what you want to hear, but it is the law. I hope that it clears things up anyway. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate this answer either a 3, 4, or 5 (good or better). Please note that I do not get any credit for this answer unless and until you rate it that way. Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX good luck to you!

Customer:

Thanks Scotty

ScottyMacEsq :

My pleasure.If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX good luck to you!

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