I went to the emergency room three separate times within 2 weeks with excruciating pain in my spine. I pointed out exactly where it hurt I had three x-rays three cats cans and an MRI not one of the doctors said to me that I had spinal stenosis and a herniated disc. They told me that I was just constipated and that's why my back hurt. A month later at my PCP's office, she was reviewing the very first x-ray I got in the ER, and mentioned stenosis and the herniated disc as if I already knew about it which I did not.
The answer is likely no. First, many primary care providers describe any disc bulge as a "herniation" and not all such findings have clinical effect. Second, unless the failure to disclose the findings has resulted in substantial and permanent injury, the requisite damages to justify such a lawsuit may be lacking.
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"I went to the emergency room three separate times within 2 weeks with excruciating pain in my spine. I pointed out exactly where it hurt I had three x-rays three cats cans and an MRI not one of the doctors said to me that I had spinal stenosis and a herniated disc."
This may be actionable. However, medmal cases require an expert's testimony that the defendant doctors failed to meet the required level of care. This makes such cases extremely complex and expensive.
You would need to have the entire medical file reviewed by a medmal attorney. Use Avvo and/or the county bar association to find one.
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I am sorry to hear of your pain. As always with complex cases, a posting such as yours on Avvo leaves many unanswered questions. But if it could be proven that the hospital doctors negligently failed to diagnose your condition, your legal claim would probably be limited to your month or two of pain and suffering resulting from the failure to diagnose. And since you already were in pain when you went to ER, the doctor's lawyer would argue that you would have continued in pain for that month or two whether they had diagnosed it or not. But either way, a lawsuit seeking to recover for two months of pain and suffering would be cost-prohibitive. Malpractice cases are expensive to pursue, and the damages have to be severe to make the potential return worth the investment in time and money.
If it could be proven that the failure to diagnose somehow worsened your condition and resulted in permanent injury requiring surgery, then your potential case might have more value, but proving this would be difficult. You should call a malpractice lawyer who might be willing to review your medical records and offer an opinion on potential negligence.
You don't say whether the disc injury was caused by an accident or trauma of some kind. If it was caused by an event such as a car accident in which another party was negligent, you might have a claim for damages against that party (assuming the statute of limitations has not expired). A herniated disc can sometimes be alleviated with surgery. The need for disc surgery is often attributed to at-fault drivers in car accident cases. But stenosis is a degenerative condition that cannot be attributed to anyone's negligence.
Has any doctor verbally or in a medical record attributed the disc injury to any particular event? You would need a doctor to say so in order to prevail in any negligence claim.
I hope this helps. In the meantime, just follow your PCP's advice on how best to treat your injuries.
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