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Understanding Emergency Room Negligence

Posted on May 18, 2022 in

Working in a hospital emergency room is not for everyone; it requires a lot of physical, mental, and emotional labor and the ability to handle pressure. The ER staff must be able to make quick decisions on important medical matters in a fast-paced, chaotic, and stress-filled environment that can have no moment for pause. Therefore, it’s vital that hospitals take the time to ensure that the doctors, nurses, and other staff they hire have the qualifications, experience and demonstrate the ability to perform well and deliver high standards of care under such demanding and often exhausting conditions.

When you walk into the emergency room, you have every right to expect high-quality care and services. When the ER staff makes a mistake, you have the right to contact an attorney and determine if you have the facts to pursue legal action. Going up against a hospital may seem intimidating, but you don’t need to do it alone. A specialist medical malpractice attorney understands the complexities of emergency room negligence and can help you build a strong claim to recover the fair compensation owed to you.

What Does Legal Standard of Reasonable Care Mean?

Duty of care or legal standard of reasonable care refers to the legal standard of care that medical professionals are held to while on duty. Medical professionals are held to the same negligence standard as other liable parties in personal injury cases because they have a legal duty to provide reasonable care in a safe manner.  Duty of care means medical professionals must behave in ways that actively protect and prevent harm to their patients.

When hospitals make mistakes, these mistakes can have dire consequences for patients—that’s why medical professionals are held to a higher degree of duty of care. Their actions directly impact the health and safety of patients and must be held responsible for mistakes that harm patients, whether the mistake was accidental or not.

What Is Emergency Room Negligence?

Emergency room negligence is when the medical staff in the emergency room fails to provide the expected standard of care to their patient. Common instances of emergency room negligence include:

  • Misdiagnosis
  • Medication errors
  • Missed diagnosis
  • Failure to properly do necessary testing or to inform the patient of test results
  • Failing to identify symptoms of heart attacks or strokes
  • Wrong prescriptions
  • Misreading tests and charts
  • Releasing patients who should not have been released
  • Not treating potentially serious situations with the seriousness required
  • Not providing an appropriate specialist to consult
  • Not paying attention to stated or written down allergies
  • Failing to obtain medical history
  • Failing to provide follow-up instructions to the patient
  • Failing to keep adequate written records as the law requires

ER mistakes have the potential to end the lives of patients, and as such, the law is on the side of victims of emergency room negligence. However, to successfully pursue compensation and undergo a legal battle against a hospital with deep pockets, victims need the help of experienced medical malpractice attorneys.

Just because something went wrong during an ER visit doesn’t mean the medical staff committed malpractice. Like in all other personal injury cases, there must be negligence for there to be a case. Medical malpractice cases can be challenging to prove because they need to clearly demonstrate that the healthcare professional made an error and that the error was the cause of the patient’s harm. For this reason, it’s essential that you have a skilled and aggressive attorney fighting for your rights and your best interests.

Importantly, the litigation costs for a medical malpractice case are normally in the tens of thousands of dollars. These claims are disputed vigorously by the medical providers and their insurance carriers. The cases take years normally, and require litigation most of the time. The medical issues are presented as being very complex by the defense, which is often true. As a result, most knowledgeable medical malpractice lawyers in Arizona require the damages to exceed somewhere between $100,000 and $500,000 or more depending on the case facts. These are nearly always difficult cases that require the injured patient to have patience, endurance and trust in the malpractice lawyer you choose.

Find an Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorney at Jensen Phelan Law Firm

The Jensen Phelan Law Firm specialist medical malpractice attorneys understand the complexities of emergency room negligence cases. We have the necessary experience and resources to build a strong case to show you are entitled to fair and maximum compensation. Contact our office today and start understanding your legal options. Call (928) 778-2660 or fill out our contact form today to speak with one of our attorneys.