ER Malpractice

It’s not surprising that nearly half of all medical practice errors occur in emergency rooms–they can be extremely chaotic with high levels of stress and pressure caused by patients and doctors.

Certain components must occur in the ER to build a proper base for medical malpractice: 1) a doctor-patient relationship was established, 2) the medical treatment in the ER involved negligence, and 3) the negligence caused harm or injury to the patient.

The first element is simple to prove, yet you need to make sure that the relationship was established when the alleged harm was placed on the patient. Medical records and documents can easily show if this occurred.

The second part gets a bit tricky because “standard of care,” or legal competence, is involved. That legal term becomes more forgiving when it pertains to ER physicians since their job is one of the most challenging in the hospital, but that shouldn’t excuse them from making medical errors. Medical negligence can be proven if the patient can prove their doctor breached the standard of care.

For instance, if the patient repeatedly notified their assigned ER doctor about pain they were experiencing, but the doctor ignored them, leading to patient injury, then that would be a breach of standard of care. If the ER physicians fail to act appropriately or follow standard of procedure, medical negligence could be at fault.

Other common ER mistakes include patient dumping, laboratory errors, delayed or misdiagnosis, failure to monitor a patient, and hastily coming to incorrect conclusions. These scenarios are often more common in emergency rooms because of the high-pressure and quick-paced environment.

The third component needs to prove that the medical negligence has or will induce harm to the patient. The harm can be a form of physical pain and suffering but can also branch out to include financial hardships and emotional trauma.

Although ER care is understandably difficult for doctors, they should still be held accountable if medical malpractice was involved.

If you or a loved one believe you have suffered from ER medical malpractice, call us at 1-866-MICH-LAW (1-866-642-4529) for a free consultation.

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