When you go to the emergency room, you trust the doctors and medical personnel with your health, sometimes even your life. However, when these doctors fail to provide a standard of reasonable care, irreparable injuries and wrongful death are the common results. These tragedies are all the more frustrating because they happen in healthcare facilities, which should help patients, not harm them. Thus, victims and their families may feel helpless – if trained medical professionals are not on their side, who is? Baltimore emergency room malpractice lawyer Susan R. Green dedicates her career to representing those who have been abandoned and overlooked by companies and systems that offered protection, but failed to deliver. Hospitals and other healthcare facilities trade on trust. When you have a medical emergency, you trust that help is only as far away as the closest ER. However, when doctors and hospitals betray that trust, Susan Green can help you hold them accountable through an emergency room malpractice lawsuit.
What are Common Examples of Emergency Room Malpractice?
Medical emergencies require swift action, fast decisions and competent treatment. Therefore, medical negligence in the emergency room often, though not always, involves doctors and nurses failing to address a patient’s condition quickly enough. Some of the most common examples of emergency room malpractice include:
- Failure to diagnose and/or missed diagnosis. ER doctors must evaluate your symptoms and perform all necessary tests to ensure a proper diagnosis and treatment. However, negligent doctors may skip certain test or discount vital symptoms, leading to a misdiagnosis. In some cases, failure to diagnose can result in a hospital discharging a patient without treatment for a life-threatening condition. Heart attacks, appendicitis, stroke and internal bleeding are all common examples of conditions that may be misdiagnosed in the ER.
- Medication errors. Incorrect prescriptions and wrong dosages can both have serious negative effects on your health. Medication errors can go hand in hand with misdiagnosis, although carelessness and/or fatigue also make prescription mistakes more likely.
- Delayed treatment. Emergency room personnel receive training on how to triage all patients. This helps to ensure that those with life-threatening injuries and illnesses receive treatment quickly. Neglect of these guidelines can result in a more severe condition or even wrongful death while a patient waits.
- Failure to treat. In some cases, an emergency room may turn away patients without treatment. This may happen due to misdiagnosis, but may also occur if the person has limited ability to pay for treatment. It is illegal for hospitals to turn away patients in an emergency because they have no insurance or use Medicaid. However, some negligent facilities do so anyway, forcing people to drive further to find treatment.
Who is Liable for ER Negligence?
ER staff may not be able to prevent or minimize serious injuries and conditions in all situations. Nevertheless, they must still provide a standard of reasonable care to everyone seeking help. If they fail to do so and you suffer damages or lose a loved one, then you may be able to recover compensation through a medical malpractice lawsuit. In most cases, the hospital itself is liable for the negligence of its staff.
Sometimes, the doctor may also be liable for your injuries and damages. However, this will depend on whether the doctor is an employee of the hospital or an independent contractor, as well as whether you knew the doctor’s status before treatment. In the ER, there is rarely time for staff to get a patient’s informed consent, so the individual doctor’s liability may vary depending on the situation.
Hospitals and doctors will likely not inform you of when they make mistakes or neglect ER procedures. Therefore, it can be difficult for victims and their families to know when an injury, illness or death was preventable. This is especially true in emergency situations, where tragedy is not always avoidable. Additionally, after an ER mistake, you may be struggling with grief or may still receive treatment for your worsened injuries or condition in the same facility that the negligence occurred. For these reasons, victims and families may feel unable to demand the answers they need from the doctor or hospital.
Susan Green understands the difficulties of challenging the doctors and medical facilities you are supposed to trust. But she can take on that burden for you and will play hardball to find out the truth, if necessary. She can represent your interests in a medical malpractice claim to hold the hospital accountable for substandard ER treatment.
Hurt in the ER? Call for a Free Consultation with a Baltimore Medical Malpractice Lawyer
While ER staff can be the difference between life and death, medical negligence during an emergency can cause a preventable tragedy. When doctors and ER staff betray your trust, Baltimore medical malpractice lawyer Susan Green can help you fight for your right to compensation and accountability. She does not give up when powerful hospitals try to minimize a victim’s damages; she does not back down when negligent doctors try to deny liability. Contact Hardball Law in Baltimore, Maryland today to schedule your free initial consultation.