ER Doctor and nurse misdiagnosed my wife with conversion disorder, and she was later taken to another hospital and correctly diagnosed with HErpes encephilitis and treated. The first hospital claims to have done head to toe assessments, an claims my wife was improving and could walk upon discharge and have recorded this in her medical records. However, none of that is true, she was treated as faking it, and was never reevaluated before discharge. 12hours later, had to call ambulence to have her taken to another hospital. Her right side was paralysed the whole time. In effect, their negligence led to a 24hour+ delay of trtment, which led to more serious neurological deficits such as aphasia. She continues rehab. lawyers are telling me that nothing in first hospital records warranted HSE.
As the other attorneys have answered, the key area will be the first hospital's medical chart - specifically your wife's immediate pre-hospital admission history, her presentation in the ER, lab results, radiological studies, etc. Herpes encephalitis can be very difficult to diagnose, however certain lab results, and the presentation of focal neurological deficits can be indicative. Our office has handled herpes encephalitis cases and we would be happy to speak to you about your wife's matter.
Medical malpractice cases are tough. You will first have to get a doctor's opinion that the previous provider did not meet the standard of care.
I hope that you are talking to attorneys that regularly practice in this field.
You may have to pay the doctor for this opinion. If it is negative, it would at least tell you why
there is no basis for the suit.
The above is not intended as legal advice. The response does not constitute the creation of an attorney client relationship as this forum does not provide for a confidential communication.
In a medical malpractice lawsuit, a plaintiff must meet the burden of proof to show:
(1) a medical error occurred (defined as a "violation of the minimum standard of reasonable medical care");
(2) significant damages and/or death; and
(3) a direct link between #1 and #2.
In other words, just demonstrating that a patient had an awful outcome isn't the measuring stick for whether malpractice occurred. It is a plaintiff's job to show what was specifically done wrong (the standard of care violation) that directly caused (element #3) the injury (#2). And again, the plaintiff bears the entire burden of proof.
In these cases, 'proving it' is sometimes the most difficult thing. A built-in hurdle is that we must use the defendant's own medical records against them. If your previous attorneys have told you that they can't piece together any evidence of a missed diagnosis during the 1st ER visit, I can say that I've been in that position as an attorney about once a week throughout my entire career.
The only way to really sort this out is for you to find a new law firm, assuming the old firm has bowed out. The devil will be in the details: the chart.
The key to your case appears to be in the medical records from the first hospital, and any corresponding medical opinion. Continue to have your matter investigated by experienced medical malpractice attorneys.
DISCLAIMER: David J. McCormick is licensed to practice law in the State of Wisconsin and this answer is being provided for informational purposes only because the laws of your jurisdiction may differ. This answer based on general legal principles and is not intended for the purpose of providing specific legal advice or opinions. Under no circumstances does this answer constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship.
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