I broke my leg a few weeks ago and had a splint put on at the ER. A few days later, I fell down from my crutches and my leg swelled more, so I went back to the ER, leg checked and new splint. I told the doctor that the splint felt too tight, but she said it needed to be. My knee area began swelling around the top of the cast immediately and very painful. That night, my toes turned bright white and went numb. I called the on-call ortho assigned to me by the ER and he told me to take extra Vicoden and go to sleep. I woke up hours later screaming and ripped the splint off my leg. I was diagnosed with compartment syndrome and my heel was fractured from the pressure. and told by my friends I should contact an attorney. Is this correct if my diagnoss was compartment syndrome?
Personal Injury Lawyer
Your medical records need to be examined by an experienced personal injury/med mal attorney and a second M.D. to appropriately answer your question. I recommend you contact an attorney as soon as possible. It sounds like multiple people messed up (the splinting doctor; the ortho; possibly the initial ER doctor).
I hope you heal soon. Please listen to your friends and speak with an attorney as soon as possible.
-Michael R. Juarez Law Office of Juarez and Schaeffer PO Box 16216 San Diego, CA 92105 (619) 804-4327 www.jslaw.org Mike@jslaw.org This posting is provided for “information purposes” only and should not be relied upon as "legal advice." Nothing transmitted from this posting constitutes the establishment of an attorney-client relationship. Applicability of the legal principles discussed here may differ substantially in individual situations or in different jurisdictions.
Mr. Juarez is correct. However, medical malpractice cases remain one of the most difficult types of cases to win in Texas. You need to consult with an experienced medical malpractice attorney immediately., Records will have to be obtained and an expert physician will have to be hired by your attorney to review the facts and medical records to determine whether your doctor breached the accepted "standard of care" for a physician practicing in that area of medicine in that locale. There is no easy answer here. You should contact a medical malpractice attorney who will order all of your medical records and will review them to determine whether you have a viable case.
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Ethics / Professional Responsibility Lawyer
A compartment syndrome is a very serious matter, as you have found out, and it cannot be neglected or the consequences will be serious. From the information in your question, it seems that you may have a basis for a lawsuit despite the horrible anti-patient laws of Texas. The phone call to the on-call orthopedist is very important. You should immediately take steps to secure a record of that call from the telephone company. And, find yourself a good medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible.
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Medical Malpractice Attorney
If the compartment syndrome caused you a serious worsening of your condition, then you may very well have a valid claim against the on-call ortho. It would be important that you personally spoke to the ortho on the phone. Texas appellate courts and politicians hate medical malpractice lawsuits. They have worked very hard to ensure legitimate cases do not get filed. Appellate courts in the state have issued rulings to insulate on-call physicians where they argue that the doctor on the other end of the call may not have entered into a "patient-physician" relationship. So it would be helpful to your potential claim if you spoke directly to the on-call ortho.
You need to speak with an attorney to investigate this further.