Legal Question in Personal Injury in Texas

My wife was in a wreck a few weeks ago. She had a few traffic warrants and even though she complained of severe pain in her shoulder and chest area she was given an MRI a clean bill of health and released to state trooper as jail ready. Upon release she has the same complaint we back the same hospital go thru the same procedure and find out pain is caused by a broken collar bone. Attending Dr said MRI should have detected injury when she was admitted after her accident..Does she have a CASE

against hospital

Asked on 9/10/13, 2:10 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Adam Kielich The Kielich Law Firm

Well the initial injury is due to the accident and your remedy for the injury depends on who was at fault for the wreck (and as a practical matter, who has insurance). Whether the hospital committed malpractice in missing the broken collar bone is a much more complex question. You must show the hospital was negligent in performing or evaluating the MRI when they missed the broken bone. It isn't enough that the hospital missed it. You have to show negligence. Medical practice cases are very complex not only because of the medical expertise involved but also due to the pro-malpractice insurer policies in this state. IF you can prove a negligence claim against the hospital then you have a question of what damage did the hospital cause your wife. Did the lack of medical care aggravate the damage? Is permanent or long term damage a result of lack of medical care? Or did she merely experience a few days of additional pain? If the latter is the case then the damages attributable to the hospital are likely so minimal that it would not be worth the cost of pursuing that claim.

However, there are lots of question marks that I do not know about your situation. You and your wife need to talk to a lawyer that practices personal injury AND medical malpractice ASAP.

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Answered on 9/10/13, 2:16 pm

Roger Merrill Merrill & Associates

If she went in to the emergency room, then the hospital is only liable for gross negligence. It will be difficult to show the hospital committed negligence since in your narrative someone may have missed something on the MRI film. There's a good chance that the radiologist reviewing the film was not an employee of the hospital, but only had privileges to work there.

Get a copy of the original MRI film and have someone competent to review it give you an opinion. X-rays are good at showing broken bones. If she had those, then those should be reviewed as well.

Regardless, you need some real damage, like a permanent injury that is somewhat disabling or significant medical bills due to the delay, to make it economical to pursue.

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Answered on 9/10/13, 2:50 pm

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