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Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) (CRPS) Message Board
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Old 11-26-2007, 03:59 PM   #1
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malpractice law suits

Hi All,
I have been looking for an attorney to file a malpractice lawsuit against the hospital staff for causing my RSD but with no avail as most attorneys are interested in taking personal injury or workman comp cases. Have any one file a lawsuit against your doc or hospital for causing your RSD? How did you find your attorney? what were your outcome?
I would appreciate some responses!
Anita

 
Old 11-26-2007, 04:37 PM   #2
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Re: malpractice law suits

Hello Anita,

I just discussed this very same topic today with a new attorney. He said that disclaimers signed at the time of treatment make it very difficult to win a malpractice suit. The doctor(s) and/or staff would have had to provide treatment outside of medical board accepted practice. In other words, unless you can prove that the medical staff performed work or put you in a situation that they would have not done with anyone else, the odds are against winning such a suit.

It's such a shame that our outcome can come at the hands of others. I believe that my case is just that as well. And I must share with you that it was very frustrating to hear what the attorney had to say about that today.

This is not to say that you do not have grounds to pursue, I am simply passing along what I found out. As far as finding suitable counsel, go for an initial consult. If you like what you see and the attorney has experience with RSD and with what the law speaks to in those regards, then consider that person a possibility. You have to like who represents you and I think that they should volunteer plenty of time and show interest during your first consult.

Good luck to you. I hope that such burdens lighten somehow for you soon.

 
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Old 11-27-2007, 11:02 AM   #3
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Re: malpractice law suits

I'm not sure about the actual suing for the operation that caused the RSD...I woke up from surgery with all the RSD symptoms immediately...but I did need the surgery- and a simple bump or bruise can cause RSD.....but what could qualify (in my mind that I've considered) is the malpractice following the RSD onset. I went over 7 years being told by my orthopedic surgeon that I was just experiencing some chronic pain, that I needed except that I wasn't the same athlete as before the accident (that necessitated the surgery) and basically he "couldn't find anything wrong with me". I moved to a different state for my fiance, found a new ortho and he immediately sent me off to the neuro for a consult and diagnosed the RSD after reading my medical files that were forwarded to him and one visit. Why could he do that in one visit and reading my case notes where the other doc for 7 years patted me on the head and told me I was fine (making me doubt myself and my abilities - was it all in my head?! - NO!!!) and to learn to live with it. My fiance thinks that I should sue him - but I don't know.....I feel like the public in general needs to be educated on RSD - what it is, how it affects people, what all can cause it, that it's a real disease/condition....but until the medical community gets their act together - I'm afraid we won't see any changes with the general population......

Can you tell the RSD affects my foot/ankle/leg and not my fingers? I tend to go on and on....sorry!

 
Old 11-27-2007, 06:20 PM   #4
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Re: malpractice law suits

Gatorgirl,
It must be very frustrating for you to find out that you had RSD following the surgery and that your orthopedic failed to dx you immediately so that you might had a better chance of having a full remission. I wonder whether you have any ground to sue your orthopedic surgern for misdiagnosed you.
Jayhunk,
Thank you for sharing your encounter with the attorney! I will be seeing one tomorrow. I had interviewed two so far. One is a young one and the other is a older guy, The young one does different type of cases. He has to charge me $350/hour to review my medical record and hire an expect witness to review the record as well. This will cost me at least several thousands before i can found out what is my chance of winning. Basically, both attorneys told me i had to prove the hospital staff had failed to provide the standard of care and that their neglience had caused my RSD. Very difficult to prove although i know that the hospital had failed to provide adequate medical care. Some attorneys said my case is too small for them and reject me over phone.
Anita

 
Old 11-28-2007, 05:11 AM   #5
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Re: malpractice law suits

Anita,
Its tough finding a lawyer who will take a case with RSD.. Even with my situation it was hard.. My was so clean cut.. I was fine before the accident and afterward I had RSD.. Even with that it was tough.. They tried to say that I had RSD prior because I was in an accident 20 yrs ago.. I also injured my neck in work yrs ago.. They tried to say it was all from that.. They will pull all your past up.. All your medical bills... Its hard to prove.. very hard..
If I remember yours was from and IV or drawling blood? That one seems really difficult.. I have drawn blood for yrs.. I can't imagine what you could do wrong to cause RSD other then how your body reacted to it.. Theres not to many mistakes you can make with that.. Ok so you miss the vein. Thats so common with drawing blood even IVs. Hitting the bone is about the worst damage you really can do.. I wish I had something positive to say to you.. I think this going to be tough one for you.. Don't spend the money for a lawyer to hire a specialist.. SOunds to me its already a question for him.. Your best bet would be to call an RSD lawyer.. They are out there.. Search the internet.. Just put in "RSD Lawyers" you will find one.. They know what angle to go with.. They have to understand RSD.. From what Iam hearing from the lawyer you have interviewed it sounds to me they may not have the knowledge..
Thank go my lawyer did.. I did win my case. The whole time the fight was about did I get RSD from another injury...
good luck in finding a lawyer.. Look into a RSD lawyer that will be your best bet....
Take care,
Michelle

 
Old 11-28-2007, 10:34 AM   #6
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Lightbulb Re: malpractice law suits

hi guys, i found an excellent
lawyer who is a rsd and complex regional pain specialist , advocate.
\
he takes no money up front, he is really nice.

well hope every one is haveing a painless day,
take care
\
liznip

Last edited by moderator2; 11-29-2007 at 05:34 AM.

 
Old 11-28-2007, 04:05 PM   #7
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Re: malpractice law suits

Hi All,
I went to see another lawyer today. I had to pay $30 to the lawyer referral service to get the half an hour appt. He took my medical history. He does not know what is RSD. He told me i need to have a well respect specialist such as a neurologist who will give me a definitive dx of RSD and confirm that the painful IV causing my RSD and willing to testify and i also need to find out my prognosis from the doc. He said the most i can get for pain and suffering is $250,000. in the state of California. Although i had a doc saying i had RSD that was caused by the painful IV, he would not be a good one to testify because he does not treat me and he is specialized in physical rehab? The other doc is PM and dx me with RSD and i will need to ask him to verify whether or not he believe my RSD was caused by the painful IV and my prognosis. Who would know about my prognosis at this time as i am only about 6 months in to this mess? Worse yet, who is willing to give me a definitive dx and the definitive cause especially the signs and symptoms are slightly different from each individual. Besides, some of my signs have disappeared. Oh! This is so tough and stressful.
Thanks for listening and offering me advises!
Anita

 
Old 11-29-2007, 04:14 AM   #8
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Re: malpractice law suits

so sorry for what you are dealing with.i would think it would be an almost impossible task to actually prove beyond a doubt that what the person who did your IV was out of the standard scope of medical of accepted medical practices in order toa ctually win a successful case.unfortunelty i think ending up with RSD depends on so many factors including just how your own body reacts to certain stimuli,you know what i mean?i ended up with two horrid pain syndromes from my spinalcord surgery,the central was right there when i awoke from anesthesia,just assumed since i had never actually had anyone dig around in my spinal cord before that this was just all part of my ungodly post op pain.it wasn't.found that out when my surgical incision healed and this horrid burning and stinging just got stronger without the other pain to distract it.this part was casued by the damage to my spinothalamic tract where they did the surgery.i was never ever told that i could possibly end up with much much worse pain post op then i had going into it.then two months later,my RSD signs started up.took about six months to actually obtain the real Dx.
unfortunetly i would think that unless that person who actually started your IV really "did" something they were not supposed to actually do to you your chances of realistically winning anything would be pretty slim.i am not trying to put a damper on your hope here just looking at this from the perspective of what a jury would see ya know?did the person really 'do' anything they were not supposed to do.that is what any award really comes down to.

i worked EMS for years before my life literally stopped dead in in tracks and the one thing we were always told is as long as you do not go out of the scope of your training you are covered by the good samaritan law,in the case of any hospital worker,i would think that would somewhat apply there too.this WOULD be explained to any jury by a defense attorney too.what i would concentrate on here really is the idiot who patted you on the head and told you everything was fine.now THAT is a whole other story.it is a Drs job to properly Dx their patients in order for them to obtain the best possible treatment.if he failed to see the obvious,well,there you may have a case.but realistically,i think it would be next to impossible to prove anything with the IV person.RSD does also include(in just getting it or having it create itself)how our bodies respond to certain stimuli too.its kind of a double edge thing ya know?i just think you may have a much better or clearer chance at proving negligence(failing to Dx a condition in a timely manner despite what you were telling him about symptoms and the signs he could obviously see for himself?obtaining the Dx of RSD as soon as possible just gives a much better chance of possible remission ya know?) with the actual doc than the hospital thing.JMO.i DO wish you luck with whatever you decide to do.please keep us posted.marcia
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Old 11-29-2007, 04:51 AM   #9
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Michelle94 HB User
Re: malpractice law suits

Feelbad,
I totally agree with you.. This was what I was trying to say in last post.. I've drawn blood for yrs.. Unless the person who did the IV was wrong.. That I could see. Then you have to prove what she did was wrong. It would all be hear say....

Anita,
Iam so sorry you have to go through this.. Its just not fair.. I would love for you to get something for this.. It does help a little.. I know you had said you have an appt with DR S.. I think if anyone could, he would be the one who could tell you if its from the IV.. and it maybe. but the problem is was she out of lines while doing the IV.. Thats such a tough call.. With Dr S.. he does not testify in court.. He deals with no lawyers etc.. He will send all records to another dr. The only way I could get anything from him was through my primary.. You sign a paper before you even see him.. I guess cause he has so many pts he can't be involved..
Then again.. Mine was from an auto accident.. You could question that too.. Was it actually her fault that I got RSD.. Well the accident was.. but in reality it was the way my body reacted to herniated my dics.. It was the same here for me.. The most I could get was $250. Then you subtract the lawyer fee.. Wow.. they make alot.. It stinks.. sounds like alot of money.. Its really not compared to what we all have to go through the rest of our lives.. I really hope you get something from this.. Good luck..
Michelle1

 
Old 11-30-2007, 05:27 AM   #10
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Re: malpractice law suits

Quote:
Originally Posted by numbing hands View Post
Hi All,
I went to see another lawyer today. I had to pay $30 to the lawyer referral service to get the half an hour appt. He took my medical history. He does not know what is RSD.
Anita
Hello Anita,

I'm sorry for your experiences with this attorney.

I am very sorry but when I read the above, underscored line, I have one word of advice...RUN!

Seriously, not only do you need an attorney that you like, that allows for a good rapport, you must have one that has had many, many RSD cases. This is an entirely different matter from everything else and we all would like to see you prepared the best way possible.

My new attorney charged nothing for first appointment and, except for one minor stipulation, no money from my pocket.

You deserve counsel with experience at this. Keep your chin up and keep making those calls!

Best wishes!
-jeff

 
Old 11-30-2007, 10:52 AM   #11
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Jamesy_Boy HB User
Re: malpractice law suits

gator girl...im not 100 percent sure but that sounds like negligence to me... most states have laws stating that palliative care for pain must be provided as well as treating the underlying problem...i believe its completely wrong for your dr to have just shrugged you off for that...good luck

 
Old 11-30-2007, 10:40 PM   #12
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Re: malpractice law suits

I was in a car accident and a brace I was wearing rambed into my knee from the force of the rear-end causing RSD. I sued the other fellows car insurance. I had a Orthopedic surgeon that did not diagnose or send me to PMD for nearly 2 years. Could I sue him, no I don't think so. I already had arthritis and he thought it was just more of the same. Was I mad at him - you bet. But then when I asked him about a knee replacement after PMD diagnosed me and put me on drugs and therapy, my Orthopedic doc said "You will never get a doctor to operate on your knee now that you have been diagnosed with CRPS. If they did you could sue for malpractise as they know the odds are it would get worse." So I went out and bought a power chair and forearms crutches and a stair lift and hand controls on my car to protect the leg as much as possible as I know what I got is what I got to live with for the rest of my life and the little cartledge I have I do not want to wear out. I walk for a block but that is it. If I wear it out completely I will not be able to look after myself and I do not want to be in a home. I did settle the accident case and got some money to help me with the extra expenses but not enough and no amount replaces your freedom but you do really have to prove mal-practise to win a case against a doctor or other medical professional and I do not think you could prove mal-practise here. Why did I get CRPS from a bump on the knee. I don't know, but because I could prove that the other driver was speeding and careless and caused the accident, I have a case because he was definitely in the wrong. Can you prove that the medical person did something wrong - unlikely. Sorry but don't spend money on lawyers unless you really can prove it.
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