I had a serious car accident and I was refused medical help. Is it normal in the US or can I do something about it? I’m a tourist in the US and I was in a serious car accident on a freeway in LA (passenger-not our fault). The paramedics took me to a community hospital but neither a doctor or nurse looked at me because they said as long as I can stand on my own feet, I’m fine. I suggested that an x-ray or general exam might be necessary as I might have a concussion or whiplash and I might not feel anything because of the shock. They ignored me. The next day I started getting headaches, felt dizzy, general numbness etc. I called a lawyer and he scheduled an appointment for me with a doctor who turned out to be a chiropractor! How could I get treatment without an x-ray? Plus such practitioners are widely disregarded by the latest research and renowned conventional MDs. What do I do in this situation?


The California Law provides that it is a physician’s duty to disclose information material to a patient’s decision to undergo treatment is imposed by law. The minimum required disclosure—i.e., the potential of death or serious harm inherent in a given procedure and an explanation in lay terms of the significant potential complications— is not governed by the standard practice of the physician’s community and thus is not a proper subject of expert testimony [Cobbs v. Grant (1972]. A patient’s death or deterioration of an existing condition may be the result of concurrent causes: the existing illness or condition and alleged medical malpractice such as the physician’s failure to properly diagnose or treat the condition. The malpractice is not actionable unless it—and not the existing condition—was the probable cause (greater-than–50% likelihood) of the injury or death. [See Simmons v. West Covina Med. Clinic (1989)].

Furthermore, a tortfeasor is liable for any subsequent economic damages attributable to negligent medical care or treatment that aggravates plaintiff’s original injury. The theory is that the aggravated damages are within the chain of legal causation traceable back to the original tortfeasor: i.e., medical treatment—whether properly or negligently administered—is a direct and foreseeable consequence of the injury caused by the original wrongdoer. [Ash v. Mortensen (1944)]. The same principle applies in a medical malpractice action where plaintiff’s initial injury at the hands of one treating physician is compounded by the subsequent negligence of other medical practitioners. [See Maxwell v. Powers (1994)]. It would be best to seek personal assistance from a lawyer in order to help you with your personal injury claim.

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