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If Surgeon Refunds You Money Because You're Unhappy with Results, Does that Mean He Feels Guilty and Likely Committed Surgical Malpractice?

The answer is no.

There are many reasons why a surgeon would choose to refund your money.

As you know, no surgeon can ever guarantee a particular result.

No surgeon can ever guarantee you will not get a post-operative infection.

No surgeon can ever guarantee you will not have complications during surgery.

Let's say you need surgery.

Your surgeon recommends it.

You agree to have surgery.

The doctor makes you sign an informed consent form.

You should know that that form does not give the doctor permission to be careless or negligent.

Instead, it's simply a document that confirms the doctor has discussed with you the risks, benefits and alternatives of going forward with your surgery.

Under no circumstance is it a license to commit malpractice.

You have the surgery.

You developed post-operative complications.

You developed a post-operative infection.

You need corrective surgery to fix the problem.

Your hospital stay is extensive.

You want answers to why you are still in the hospital.

Your doctor brushes you off and tells you this was a risk of the surgery.

Unfortunately, you developed one of those complications.

Days later you follow up in the surgeon's office.

You are unhappy with your results.

You are dissatisfied that you suffered horrible complications.

You believe your surgeon is trying to hide something.

You believe your doctor did something wrong.

You now believe your doctor was careless.

You believe that if he had been careful, you would not have suffered these complications.

You return back to his office multiple times over the next few weeks.

Each time you return, you are angry and upset that you are spending more and more time in his office.

You are frustrated that you have still not healed.

You keep complaining to the doctor.

You are angry.

You demand that the doctor refund your money.

You demand that since he did not obtain a perfect result, that the doctor should refund you all of the money that you and your insurance company paid.

Your doctor refuses.

Your doctor says he did nothing wrong.

Your doctor tells you that this is a known complication that can occur.

That still doesn't satisfy you.

You call his office.

Repeatedly.

You annoy his office manager.

You demand repayment.

You threaten to call your insurance company and claim the doctor is involved in insurance fraud.

That prompts a call back from the office manager who tells you that the doctor has changed his mind and now agrees to give you back your money.

You now believe that your suspicion was confirmed.

You now believe that the only reason your doctor refunded you the money was because he felt guilty that he was careless.

You believe that the only reason a doctor would refund you the money, was because he was worried you would bring a medical malpractice lawsuit against him.

You then decide it's time to speak to a medical malpractice attorney to see if you have a valid case.

You meet with an attorney and tell him your concerns.

You tell him that you believe the only reason your surgeon refunded you your money was because he was scared of you bringing a lawsuit against him for malpractice.

Your attorney smiles and tells you the reality.

“Your doctor is not afraid of you bringing a lawsuit against him.”

“Your doctor did not refund your money because you threatened to report him to the insurance company.”

“In all likelihood, the doctor refunded you your money to get rid of you. He wants nothing more to do with you. He wants you out of his professional life. He probably finds you to be a nuisance and have disrupted his office, his staff and himself endlessly.”

The mere act of refunding you money for your surgery does not implicate the doctor.

You may perceive that there is a direct connection between the treatment you received and the fact that your surgeon has now agreed to refund you your money.

However, you are likely mistaken.

Even if your argument has some validity, in law we must show that you are slightly more likely right than wrong that what you are claiming is true.

We cannot use the refund to confirm that your doctor was careless.

The fact that your doctor refunded you money does not prove that his carelessness was a cause of your injury.

The fact that your doctor refunded you money does not confirm our claim that the injuries you suffered are permanent.

From a legal standpoint, the mere fact that he refunded you money has nothing to do with being able to prove that he violated the basic standards of medical care.

You can infer and assume all you want.

You can claim that represents circumstantial evidence of his carelessness.

The reality is that it is unlikely we could ever use that to show that you have a valid case.

Keep in mind, that even though we cannot use it to justify you having a valid case, we can certainly use it during cross examination at trial.

To learn even more about your doctor refunding you your money, I invite you to watch the quick video below...


Gerry Oginski
NY Medical Malpractice & Personal Injury Trial Lawyer