Menifee, CA asked in Personal Injury and Medical Malpractice for California

Q: Can I suse a doctor for misdiagnosis?

On October 26 I went to urgent care in San diego. The doctor and a student doctor saw me. I thought I got bite by a spider but he just look at it and said no you have cellulitis he never did a cultural on it even after my sister in law,ask him. You give me antibiotics and said it should heal in a couple days and to come back in two days. Usually I wouldnt go back but my sister in law made me go back because worse and the pain was to much to handle. When seen by a different doctor he said to go straight to ER. At the hospital I was admit right away the ER doctor did a cultural and couldnt understand why the other doctor didnt. After 3 days and 1 surgery they find out I had MRSA. I had to have one more surgery and now my hand looks disformed. Could I sue the other doctor misdiagnosis?

3 Lawyer Answers

Gerald Barry Dorfman

  • Mill Valley, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Yes, you may very well have a legitimate medical malpractice claim. You should contact medical malpractice attorneys right away. The statute of limitations is shorter than for regular personal injury claims, and if a public entity is involved there is an even shorter claim filing deadline. Do not wait. These types of cases are difficult to assess and win, and require evaluation by experts. Do not wait.

Tim Akpinar and William John Light agree with this answer

Dale S. Gribow

  • Palm Desert, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: much more info needed.

however, you can always sue. The question is whether you can find a lawyer to take a specific case and whether you will prevail.

most lawyers I know will not take a med mal if it is not worth $1Million.

with the limited info given, there is no way to know if an earlier diagnosis would have precluded all these injuries/damages.

however, you should contact a lawyer asap as there are statute of limitations which are shorter than for regular negligence and shorter yet if there is a public entity to be sued.

William John Light and Tim Akpinar agree with this answer

William John Light

  • Medical Malpractice Lawyer
  • Riverside, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: You might be able to sue. The question is whether you had MRSA that looked like a spider bite, or had a spider bite that developed an MRSA infection.

The appropriate treatment for a suspected spider bite is usually to clean it with soap and water and prescribe anti-inflammatories (if the bite is from a black widow or brown recluse treatment would be different, of course). Immediate prescription of anti-biotics is not part of the usual treatment plan (assuming that there isn't evidence of an infection). As a result, it is not clear that you suffered any real delay in the prescription of antibiotics if you had a spider bite.

If you had an MRSA infection at the outset, then you may have a claim if you suffered serious and long-term injuries. The only way to really answer your question is to order copies of all of your medical records and have them reviewed by a physician in the appropriate medical specialty to determine whether your Urgent Care physician fell below the standard of care in the community.

Gerald Barry Dorfman and Tim Akpinar agree with this answer

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