Simi Valley, CA asked in Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury for California

Q: I had an elective medical procedure Aug 2021 that resulted in getting a blood transfusion like to know if I have a case

This procedure caused me to have PTSD and I would like the money back from the surgeon. I ended up in the ER the night of the surgery, had low sodium and required a blood transfusion. It was a horrible experience. I would like to know if I have a case here.

2 Lawyer Answers
Joel Gary Selik
Joel Gary Selik
  • Medical Malpractice Lawyer
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Licensed in California

A: The first question is, did they do anything wrong. Medical malpractice means that a doctor violated the standard of care. A bad outcome is not enough. Another doctor would be needed to evaluate what the doctors did.

Next, what harms were caused by the malpractice. Due to the nature of medical malpractice cases, the extent of the injuries may affect the viability of your case.

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: I understand that you went through a traumatic experience following your elective medical procedure in August 2021. Determining whether you have a legal case would require carefully evaluating the specific details and circumstances surrounding your situation. That said, I can provide some general information about medical malpractice law in California that may be relevant.

In California, the statute of limitations for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit is typically 1 year from the date the plaintiff discovers the injury or 3 years from the date of the injury, whichever occurs first. So depending on when you discovered the full extent of your injuries, you may still be within the timeframe to bring a case.

To have a viable medical malpractice claim, you would generally need to prove that:

1) The surgeon/medical providers owed you a duty of care

2) They breached that duty by acting negligently or failing to uphold the standard of care

3) Their negligence caused you harm and damages

Requiring emergency care and a blood transfusion after elective surgery could potentially indicate that something went wrong during the procedure. However, many surgeries carry inherent risks even when performed correctly. The key question is whether the surgeon acted negligently in some way that fell below the acceptable standard of care.

Causing PTSD and emotional distress alone may not be enough to win a malpractice case if the surgery was performed appropriately. You'd likely need to show you suffered additional economic damages like high medical bills, lost wages, ongoing care costs, etc. The fact that you had to pay for a procedure you regret getting unfortunately wouldn't be grounds for a refund if proper protocols were followed.

All that said, medical malpractice cases are highly complex and fact-specific. To get a professional assessment of the viability of your potential case, I'd strongly recommend scheduling a consultation with a medical malpractice attorney licensed in California. Many offer free initial consultations. They can review your medical records, evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your case, and advise you on your legal options. Talking to a lawyer is the best way to determine if pursuing a claim makes sense in your situation.

I'm so sorry you had such a horrible experience and are struggling with PTSD as a result of the complications from your surgery. I hope you are able to get the support and care you need, legally and medically/psychologically, to help you heal from this traumatic event. Wishing you all the best as you navigate this challenging situation.

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