When you are involved in an accident or are overcome by an illness or condition that requires immediate attention, you must be rushed to the emergency room of the hospital nearest to you. Emergency room doctors are trained to handle such contingencies. Their formal education and long experience have given them the knowledge, ability, and insight to handle a variety of trauma cases and to diagnose a range of life-threatening conditions.
However, emergency rooms are often congested; and there may be instances in which the number of patients coming in and receiving treatment outstrips the number of doctors, nurses, and support personnel on shift. It is also the case that ER doctors do not have access to patient records. If you are unconscious at the time you enter the hospital, they will not be able to get information from you. And if a friend, relative, or colleague accompanies you to the hospital, they may not be able to fill them in.
Emergency room doctors must work quickly. They must gather as many facts as they can and make quick decisions on how to respond to each case. At especially busy times, patients are triaged—that is, given priority according to the seriousness of this condition. And even this judgment is not always made with complete information.
The pressures under which ER physicians practice medicine does not get them off the hook for making errors. They should possess the training and competence necessary to provide excellent and flawless patient care. Anyone who is not up to the task should not be in ER medicine. Contact a Medical Malpractice Lawyer today to discuss your legal options today.
Types of Emergency Room Errors
Emergency room malpractice can be a disaster for a patient. If a doctor is not properly trained, is unsuited for the job, or is not rested and alert enough to be on shift, the result can be deadly. It can lead such a physician to miss obvious signs of stress associated with respiratory problems and organ failure; they may miss the signs of a heart attack or stroke, make errors in prescribing medication, misdiagnose a medical condition, or, as previously stated, incorrectly triage patients.
Why Emergency Room Errors Occur
Emergency room errors occur for a variety of reasons. Doctors may not be informed of a patient’s vital signs, information is often lost during shift change, the doctor may fail to get another opinion if they are unsure of what they symptoms suggest—these are just a few of the many reasons that can lead to the poor handling of a patient in need of urgent care.
The Consequences of an Emergency Room Error
Depending on the kind of emergency room error made, you may be lucky to live through it. Even if you survive, the mistake may cost you serious pain and distress in the long-term. You may have to undergo more invasive surgeries as a result of ER mistakes. This will lead to additional medical expenses and time from work. The further physical, mental, and financial burdens added to your life because of emergency room malpractice may be difficult to deal manage.
Why You Need a Lawyer
As you recover from the mistake made by ER doctors, you should contact a lawyer who specializes in medical malpractice. Once the hospital realizes that a mistake was made, they will immediately launch an investigation. A representative from the hospital or its insurance company may attempt to contact you for an interview. You should answer no questions or make any statements without a lawyer present. Indeed, you should allow your lawyer to speak for you. It is important that you not say anything that could undermine your case against the ER doctor who treated you.
What a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Can Do
You need not file a lawsuit straightaway. You may get an offer from the insurance company that represents the doctor or hospital. If the sum of money offered compensates you for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering, your lawyer may advise you to accept it. However, if you have been made grievously ill by the error made by the ER team, then you may need more money to put your life on track. Your lawyer can negotiate this with the insurance company. If they refuse to accede to a reasonable sum, then you do have the option to sue.
The emergency room is not place for mistakes. It is where people go to be cared for after a serious fall, a car accident, the feeling of pains in the chest, and other such events. The stakes are high, and the professionals who care for patients cannot afford to get it wrong. If you decide to sue, your lawyer will gather the evidence and testimony necessary to demonstrate that the people who cared for you in the ER failed to deliver an acceptable level of care, that you have suffered seriously as a result, and that you are owed a specific amount of money.