Forums > Off-Topic Discussion > Should I Sue The Hospital?

Model

Misty R H

Posts: 471

Anaheim, California, US

You may want to check the paperwork you signed when you went in the hospital.  More and more medical facilities are requiring people to sign paperwork that says you cannot take them to court...but things must be settled by an arbitrator.

Unfortuately it is very difficult to get anywhere with an arbitrator. The arbitrator will be picked by the hospital.  The hospital can get rid of any arbitrator that may be finding in favor of the plaintiff.  So there is incentive for the arbitrator to rule in favor of the hospital.

If you have things documented you may want to contract the American Hospital Association or the media.  You have to avoid any potential claims of slander so you have to just stick with the facts. Any business hate negative publicity.

Feb 19 13 08:40 pm Link

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Photographer

GPS Studio Services

Posts: 36375

San Francisco, California, US

There is only one right answer, speak to a lawyer and absolutely forget all the advice you are getting here.  If an attorney takes the case, it will be on a contingency basis.  That means they will only get paid if they win, but they will take a good percentage of the recovery (typically 40%).

If they think you have a case they will offer to represent you, if not, they won't.  They will only take a case if they think they can make some money.  It is important to go to a plaintiff's attorney that deals with medical issues.  You want a specialist, not just someone who practices law.  A good attorney will know quite quickly if this is worth pursuing.

Any other advice is simply wrong.  Let an expert help you decide what to do.

Feb 19 13 08:40 pm Link

Photographer

Connor Photography

Posts: 6597

Elkton, Maryland, US

Connor Photography wrote:
NO.

I am doubtful any lawyers will take your case unless you fund your own lawsuit.  It sucks but bad thing happens.  Time will heal.  Focus on the positive and move on.  Good luck.

Andialu wrote:
So the hospital shouldn't be held responsible for making such a dangerous mistake?

Of course, the hospital should be responsible for their care they are giving. He is still alive and no permanent damage, but may be emotionally upset for now.  However, he has proven that he suffers permanent damage, that is another story.  But now, this is no case.

However, he can make a complain to the hospital and the Joint Commission.  Looking for some quick bucks, not so fast.  People can see the motive miles away. 

I am sorry that has happened to him.  Next time, be a better consumer/patient  and demanding a better service and making them accountable immediately.  Suing for money is not the way to go especially in this case.  No lawyer will touch this case without upfront retainer fee from 5K to 10K. 

Don't hate me because I don't give you the answer you like.  But I am sure you can find lot of people agree with you on the internet.

Feb 19 13 09:09 pm Link

Photographer

Tim Little Photography

Posts: 11598

Wilmington, Delaware, US

Connor Photography wrote:

Connor Photography wrote:
NO.

I am doubtful any lawyers will take your case unless you fund your own lawsuit.  It sucks but bad thing happens.  Time will heal.  Focus on the positive and move on.  Good luck.

Don't hate me because I don't give you the answer you like.  But I am sure you can find lot of people agree with you on the internet.

Of course I don't hate you. I solicited your honest opinion and appreciate it. It's all the more valuable considering we are neighbors.

Feb 19 13 10:24 pm Link

Model

Gabrielle Heather

Posts: 10064

Middle Island, New York, US

Tim Little Photography wrote:
No, I'm not diabetic but both of my legs are covered in scar tissue from 3rd degree burns. They don't heal up from punctures and cuts the way regular skin does.

is 40% better than previous results?

Feb 19 13 10:59 pm Link

Photographer

Tim Little Photography

Posts: 11598

Wilmington, Delaware, US

Gabrielle Heather wrote:

is 40% better than previous results?

No, worse.

Feb 19 13 11:44 pm Link

Model

-Nicole-

Posts: 19209

Madison, Wisconsin, US

Andialu wrote:

I have sued a city for an injury and settled out of court. I handed the evidence over to my lawyer and he did the rest. I didn't lose any sleep. It didn't take time away from my family. The other side didn't try to get me to quit. Since my lawyer worked on contingency, if we didn't win he didn't get any money. You guys need to stop persuading him not to go forward. Let him contact a lawyer and see if it makes sense. Even if he doesn't get a cent the hospital needs to be made aware that it happened and someone plans on holding them accountable.

After taking my statement the representative for the city turned the record off and thanked me. He said it is very rate that someone brings a valid suit against the city.

+1

Feb 20 13 06:35 am Link

Photographer

Light Writer

Posts: 18387

Oakland, California, US

I wonder if your best advocate, after your lawyer, would be your insurance company? They had to pay for additional treatment possibly caused by an error during the time they were insuring you. At the very least you might get back any co-payment amount, but as far as getting pain and suffering recompense, probably not.

Feb 20 13 06:51 am Link

Photographer

Tim Little Photography

Posts: 11598

Wilmington, Delaware, US

OK. I had three phone meetings with firms today. They all pretty much said the same thing. It isn't big enough for them to take on. They said I had a case but that the damages were not going to be big enough. One of them gave the name of a lawyer that might take it. I left a message on his voice mail.

Thank you all for your participation in this thread. I appreciate every opinion!

Feb 20 13 10:48 am Link

Photographer

Looknsee Photography

Posts: 21684

Portland, Oregon, US

Looknsee Photography wrote:
Any a-hole can sue any other a-hole for any reason.  Winning isn't as easy as it appears on TV.  For one thing, the plaintiff (the person who initiates the complaint) has the burden of proof.  I suppose you have some way to prove that things happen they way you said they did?

That being said, here's what typically happens in civil disputes:

...  Your lawyer will get paid.  A lot.
...  Their lawyer will get paid.  A lot.
...  Lawyers, who get paid by the hour, will not be overly motivated to find a
     fair or quick resolution to the dispute.
...  The other side will say nasty things about you.
...  The other side will try to get you to quit.
...  You will lose sleep.
...  You will lose time away from work & family.
...  You will tug on the coats of strangers to tell your story.
...  You may win; you may lose.
...  Win or lose, your lawyer will still want to get paid.
...  Even if you win, you may not recover enough $$$ to pay your lawyer.
...  The dispute will take years.

Of course, big organizations like hospitals might just cut their losses & settle out of court.  Or they might have a stable of lawyers who have to justify their existence by staying involved in legal disputes.


So, if you sue, what do you want to get?

Andialu wrote:
I have sued a city for an injury and settled out of court. I handed the evidence over to my lawyer and he did the rest. I didn't lose any sleep. It didn't take time away from my family. The other side didn't try to get me to quit. Since my lawyer worked on contingency, if we didn't win he didn't get any money. You guys need to stop persuading him not to go forward. Let him contact a lawyer and see if it makes sense. Even if he doesn't get a cent the hospital needs to be made aware that it happened and someone plans on holding them accountable.

After taking my statement the representative for the city turned the record off and thanked me. He said it is very rate that someone brings a valid suit against the city.

And you should stop encouraging the fellow & let him contact a lawyer.

I think you were fortunate.  Most lawsuits don't got anything like the general population might expect -- TV shows portray an unrealistic accounting of what goes on.  Heck, at a minimum, even if the dispute heads for an out-of-court settlement, the opposing side will take a swipe at the plaintiff, if only to minimize the settlement amount.

So, I'll repeat the question I asked:  to the OP -- "So, if you sue, what do you want to get?"  And what kind of care do you expect from that hospital the next time you go there?

Feb 20 13 11:48 am Link

Model

Bella la Bell

Posts: 4451

Kansas City, Missouri, US

Andialu wrote:

Then I'd certainly talk to a lawyer.

Agreed

Feb 20 13 01:52 pm Link

Photographer

Tim Little Photography

Posts: 11598

Wilmington, Delaware, US

I just heard back from the third lawyer and its a no go. They say the damages are not enough to justify a lawsuit. If the wound fails to heal that would change things.

Feb 20 13 01:54 pm Link

Photographer

Peach Jones

Posts: 6400

Champaign, Illinois, US

Having worked in the healthcare field for almost 28 years, and for hospitals for....well......too many years, some things to be considered if people have not already told you.

First, yes, you can seek a lawyer. But, if you start an active lawsuit with the hospital they "might" have a policy that you should get your healthcare from someplace else. is this what you want? They are already used to you and all of your ailments, so it may be an inconvenience to get you care from someplace else.

If it was me.....this is what I would do. I would perhaps talk with an attorney to see what my best options are. But from being in the healthcare field I would propose this:

Approach the hospital and have them cover all the costs of your bills that accrued due to the accidental stick. This will keep everyone in good graces. Also have them pay you for your loss of work wages and your attorney fees. In turn you will not seek anymore legal action.

Plus, it is a huge risk management issue. For the life of me I do not understand why the hospital is not using "safety IV catheters". I have been using them for about 15 years and I truly don't know of anywhere that doesn't. So either the RN was not diligent in using the equipment properly (which needs to be noted by risk management and the RN's supervisor), or there was an equipment failure.......which can be an even larger issue.

So sue away if you wish. I am not sure the end result will be what you want, but best wishes to you all the way around.

P.S.--were you on Prednisone when this happened? Just a little FYI for me......

Feb 20 13 08:29 pm Link

Photographer

Tim Little Photography

Posts: 11598

Wilmington, Delaware, US

There won't be a lawsuit. I've decided to drop it. If I develop long term complications I'll reconsider.

Thanks for all of your input.

Feb 21 13 07:25 am Link

Photographer

Tim Little Photography

Posts: 11598

Wilmington, Delaware, US

Peach Jones wrote:
Having worked in the healthcare field for almost 28 years, and for hospitals for....well......too many years, some things to be considered if people have not already told you.

First, yes, you can seek a lawyer. But, if you start an active lawsuit with the hospital they "might" have a policy that you should get your healthcare from someplace else. is this what you want? They are already used to you and all of your ailments, so it may be an inconvenience to get you care from someplace else.

If it was me.....this is what I would do. I would perhaps talk with an attorney to see what my best options are. But from being in the healthcare field I would propose this:

Approach the hospital and have them cover all the costs of your bills that accrued due to the accidental stick. This will keep everyone in good graces. Also have them pay you for your loss of work wages and your attorney fees. In turn you will not seek anymore legal action.

Plus, it is a huge risk management issue. For the life of me I do not understand why the hospital is not using "safety IV catheters". I have been using them for about 15 years and I truly don't know of anywhere that doesn't. So either the RN was not diligent in using the equipment properly (which needs to be noted by risk management and the RN's supervisor), or there was an equipment failure.......which can be an even larger issue.

So sue away if you wish. I am not sure the end result will be what you want, but best wishes to you all the way around.

P.S.--were you on Prednisone when this happened? Just a little FYI for me......

When I pulled it out of my leg the nurse assigned to me said something about not using something properly. And I was not on Prednisone when this happened.

Feb 21 13 08:34 am Link

Photographer

Connor Photography

Posts: 6597

Elkton, Maryland, US

Connor Photography wrote:
NO.
I am doubtful any lawyers will take your case unless you fund your own lawsuit.  It sucks but bad thing happens.  Time will heal.  Focus on the positive and move on.  Good luck.

Don't hate me because I don't give you the answer you like.  But I am sure you can find lot of people agree with you on the internet.

Tim Little Photography wrote:
Of course I don't hate you. I solicited your honest opinion and appreciate it. It's all the more valuable considering we are neighbors.

I am glad that you got some good advices from the attorney.  Congratulation that you chose not to sue.  It is hell in litigation for both sides.

To prevent this type of incident will not happen again, one has to become a better informed patient or customer.  Knowing your rights and the medical procedures help to prevent bad thing happen to you.  I was trained in medical with 30 years of clinical/medical research in Pharmaceutical R&D.  If I can be of an assistance, please let me know.  We can meet for a lunch to address any of your concerns when being a patient in the hospital.

Good luck.

Feb 21 13 10:23 am Link

Photographer

Tim Little Photography

Posts: 11598

Wilmington, Delaware, US

Connor Photography wrote:

Connor Photography wrote:
NO.
I am doubtful any lawyers will take your case unless you fund your own lawsuit.  It sucks but bad thing happens.  Time will heal.  Focus on the positive and move on.  Good luck.

Don't hate me because I don't give you the answer you like.  But I am sure you can find lot of people agree with you on the internet.

I am glad that you got some good advices from the attorney.  Congratulation that you chose not to sue.  It is hell in litigation for both sides.

To prevent this type of incident will not happen again, one has to become a better informed patient or customer.  Knowing your rights and the medical procedures help to prevent bad thing happen to you.  I was trained in medical with 30 years of clinical/medical research in Pharmaceutical R&D.  If I can be of an assistance, please let me know.  We can meet for a lunch to address any of your concerns when being a patient in the hospital.

Good luck.

Thanks, I'll take you up on that if I have to go back.

Feb 21 13 11:14 am Link

Photographer

Connor Photography

Posts: 6597

Elkton, Maryland, US

Tim Little Photography wrote:
Thanks, I'll take you up on that if I have to go back.

Cool, I urge you to take advantage of me.  It is free and come with a lunch too.  I charge my clients $425 an hours for my time.  Feel free to PM me.  smile

Feb 21 13 11:34 am Link