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Hi. I recently got a hernia surgery. Before surgery, dr said I'll be fully recovered in 2 weeks. After surgery he said I would feel the pain for 4-6 weeks. Also, he wouldn't perscribed painkillers after the first two weeks, telling me to take advil, return to full activity, and to not be a chicken. After painkillers stopped, I noticed sharp nerve pains shooting in my abs and pelvis, ranging from mild to SEVERE. I even went to the ER because of it. The dr claimed it has nothing to do with his surgery and told me to see my physician and he couldn't help me further.
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You do have recourse, but as I've already told you, that recourse is through the insurance carrier. You have a contract with the insurance carrier. The doctor has a contract with the insurance carrier. You do not have a contract with the doctor. Therefore, it is up to the insurance carrier to enforce the contract. You can't sue the doctor because your contract is not with the doctor.
This is a crucial determination. Just because medical negligence occurred at a hospital, it doesn't necessarily follow that the facility itself can be held responsible. If your case is based on sub-standard care provided by an individual doctor, and that doctor is an independent contractor (and not an employee of the hospital), you need to pursue action against the doctor him/herself. In many cases, you can't sue a hospital for a doctor's treatment error, unless the doctor is an employee of the hospital (most are not), or when the doctor's incompetence should have been obvious to the hospital.
A number of states hold the hospital responsible if it gives staff privileges to an incompetent or dangerous doctor, even if the doctor is an independent contractor. The hospital is also responsible if it should have known that a previously safe doctor had become incompetent or dangerous. For example, if a doctor becomes severely addicted to drugs and the hospital management knew about it, or it was so obvious they should have known about it, a patient injured by that doctor can probably sue the hospital.
Medical malpractice court cases have been filed against specialists, and if your specialist caused you injury due to negligent care, you may be able to file a claim, too. Medical specialists are held to a higher standard than general practitioners because of their high skill level. Therefore, when a specialist breaches the acceptable standard of care and causes you harm, you can hold him or her accountable through a physician malpractice claim.
At trial the jury found in favor of the doctor because even the plaintiff's expert couldn't say that the complications were the direct result of improperly performed surgery. Even properly done surgery of this type carried the risk of perforation, bleeding and infection. The plaintiff also alleged that the doctor failed to give her informed consent because he gave false information about his personal background. The trial court wouldn't allow the informed consent issue to be raised because in Wisconsin the law only required that physicians tell patients the material risks of proposed treatment. There was no affirmative duty to disclose professional background information even when asked.

The South Dakota surgeon had been called to vouch for the expertise of one of his partners whose patient had suffered a stroke and permanent disability after an operation. The problem was Aanning had, in his own mind, questioned his colleague’s skill. His partner’s patients had suffered injuries related to his procedures. But Aanning understood why his partner’s attorney had called him as a witness: Doctors don’t squeal on doctors.
Dr. Zaheer A. Shah, MD, JD (Attorney and Physician): The author of this answer is an Attorney-at-Law, licensed to practice law only in the state of Arizona and he is a board certified, Ivy League trained, practicing physician. Nothing posted on this forum by the author constitutes legal advice. Additionally, any medical opinions rendered on this forum in response to a particular question do not constitute medical advice. Opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author, and are neither privileged nor confidential. While an effort is made to offer accurate information, there is no guarantee as to accuracy.
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