Most people are aware that chest pain could indicate a serious medical condition and that anyone experiencing this symptom should consult with a doctor immediately. However, chest pain is not the only indicator that a cardiac condition may exist and frequently patients ignore the symptoms or believe that it indicates a totally different health condition. Doctors, however, are expected to know what serious conditions a symptom may be indicating and perform all of the necessary tests and treatments to save their patient’s life. This is because a failure to diagnose the correct medical condition or a delay in diagnosis could result in a patient’s death.
Back Pain That Had Nothing To Do With The Spine
On a day like any other, a 51-year-old man began to experience pain between his shoulder blades. The pain continued to steadily increase until it was severe and he felt that he needed to consult his doctor. He first contacted his chiropractor and then his primary care doctor. They both indicated that he needed to be seen immediately. By this time, the pain was so bad that he called an ambulance to take him to the emergency room.
On the way to the ER, the pain became so substantial that he was unable to stay still, experienced severe nausea, and began to vomit.
He was seen immediately by an ER doctor who ordered a chest x-ray, EKG, and bloodwork. But the doctor waited to order a CT scan for at least an hour and a half. The CT scan ultimately revealed that the patient was experiencing an acute type A aortic dissection – a life-threatening condition. His doctor recommended that he have immediate emergency surgery – but even this didn’t occur quickly enough.
While waiting to go up into the surgery, he began to rapidly destabilize, and despite his doctors taking life-saving measures, he died before they even had a chance to operate.
A Family Left Behind
The man, who had worked as an electrician for many years, left behind a grieving widow and two children.
Due to her belief that her husband’s life could have been saved if only the doctor had ordered the proper tests sooner, his wife pursued a wrongful death and medical malpractice lawsuit against both the owner of the hospital and the ER doctor.
The two defendants argued that his condition was so severe that even if it had been identified earlier, that he would not have survived.
The matter did not go to trial, instead, the parties settled out of court and the loved ones the patient left behind obtained $925,000.
Is Having Two Defendants Normal?
In many personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits, there is more than one defendant. Sometimes there is even more than two. Whenever a party has been negligent and as a result, someone else is injured, they may be named as a defendant.
Why Settle Out Of Court?
There are many reasons why a plaintiff would decide to settle. Even with ample evidence and an excellent attorney, if the case goes to trial it is possible that the plaintiff will walk away with no compensation.
Settlements save all parties involved time and money and when an agreement is reached, the plaintiff knows exactly how much they will be obtaining and will almost always receive it within 30 days.
It’s normal for the defendants to approach the plaintiff with an offer, however, don’t agree to anything without consulting with an attorney. Your attorney can typically negotiate a much higher settlement than is initially offered.
How Do I Know What My Case Is Worth?
The amount that may be obtained by the plaintiff depends on many factors. Typically, this includes compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, physical scarring, disfigurement, or pain, emotional trauma, and, if the patient has passed away, funeral and burial expenses.
Once an attorney has reviewed the specifics of a case, they can provide their client with an estimate of how much it may be worth.