ABOUT EMERGENCY ROOM ERRORS
An emergency room staff’s job is to quickly and efficiently diagnose patients’ medical issues and either treat the problem or refer the patient to proper care and treatment. The initial assessment may involve admitting the patient to the hospital for observation, testing, and various procedures or calling in specialists to analyze their condition and direct proper ongoing care. When ER staff fail to make timely and accurate decisions, emergency room errors may occur.
According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), approximately 6% of emergency department patients receive an incorrect diagnosis, 2% suffer adverse effects, and 0.3% experience serious adverse events. That translates to one in 18 ER patients receiving an incorrect diagnosis, one in 50 suffering an adverse event, and one in 350 suffering permanent disability or death.
Emergency room errors can result in complex medical malpractice cases. With experience and expertise proving medical malpractice, our attorneys carefully examine the emergency room’s medical records and the results of tests or x-rays that were done. We consult with doctors who not only work in emergency rooms but who also teach emergency medicine resident physicians. If you believe your or a loved one has experienced medical malpractice from emergency room errors, contact our team today for a free case evaluation.
What is Emergency Room Negligence?
Medical negligence, including emergency room negligence, occurs when medical professionals fail to uphold the standard of care. If negligence occurs, and it causes injury, an entire medical facility may be held responsible.
Common Emergency Room Errors
In addition to misdiagnoses, common medical errors that occur in a hospital’s emergency department include the following:
- Improper discharge. Sometimes patients are prematurely discharged from the emergency room without complete examination, all appropriate testing, or necessary additional treatment. A patient may be discharged from the emergency room when they should have been admitted to the hospital for care by a specialist instead.
- Medication errors – Medication mistakes may include prescribing the wrong dosage, administering incorrect medication or a dangerous combination of drugs, and failing to provide any medication.
- Treatment errors – Treatment errors can occur when medical professionals treat the wrong patient or perform the wrong procedure.
- Failure to correctly interpret imaging scans or tests – If an X-ray, MRI, or ultrasound is misread or misinterpreted, a patient is at high risk for further health complications caused by a misdiagnosis, improper treatment, or medication errors.
- Delaying or denying treatments – Hospital emergency rooms can be hectic, with many patients requiring immediate life-saving attention. Emergency department staff are trained to judge the intensity of a patient’s pain or condition and will recognize when individuals need attention immediately—but mistakes occur.
How to Sue for Emergency Room Errors
Possible defendants in an emergency room negligence case include the doctor providing treatment, the hospital entity itself, and any other medical staff member responsible for the patient’s care during their visit.
To sue for improper treatment in an emergency room, patients must prove that mistreatment amounted to medical malpractice according to the law’s definition. Key elements to prove include the following:
- You must prove that the doctors or medical professionals in question owed you a duty of care. The very existence of a doctor-patient relationship typically establishes this duty of care.
- You will also need to demonstrate that the defendant violated that duty by failing to uphold the standard of care for their profession. The standard of care is the acceptable type and level of care that another doctor in the same specialty and setting would and should have provided.
- You and your medical malpractice attorneys need to show that you suffered injury and damages because of this failure.
The plaintiff bears a heavy burden of proof in any emergency room negligence lawsuit. However, highly experienced medical malpractice lawyers can help.
Contact an Emergency Room Negligence Lawyer at Montross Miller
Navigating the complex legal system to pursue justice can be a challenging, complicated experience. The Montross Miller team of experienced medical malpractice and hospital negligence lawyers can help.
For more than 20 years, our attorneys have fought to ensure Indiana families receive financial recovery and peace of mind amid tragic circumstances.
Montross Miller attorneys are very familiar with the complicated processes mandated by the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act and can be your guide each step of the way. Contact our team today with any questions or to schedule a free, confidential consultation.
Get the answers.
With the right
team by your side,
you get the clarity
We win like a boss.
We know complex
cases so well that
other attorneys call
us for help.
High five. Move
we’ll take care of
you after the case
Nate consulted with medical experts, dug in and proceeded with the civil suit. I remember him telling me several times that [my wife’s] story was compelling and was deserving of his team’s full commitment and skill. We eventually settled before trial and were thrilled with the results, we felt justice prevailed. Nate was patient, thorough and a trusted advisor to us through this.
He went to bat for us with health care providers and workman’s comp people. He fights for what is right. He really cared about what happened to my husband. Now, he will be taken care of for the rest of his life.
Scott did a truly amazing job for us. It was not just about the legal work; he was there for us every step of the way. From rehab, through settlement and even making sure appropriate financial arrangements were in place for the future. He went to bat for us with health care providers and workman’s comp people. He fights for what is right. He really cared about what happened to my husband.
Belinda was very responsive. I am very pleased. They are great at what they do.
Mike Miller and the firm were all excellent to work with and were extremely professional.
We worked with Brad Kallmyer who was phenomenal. He listened well and was very thorough and professional. I give all the credit to Brad. The staff was very kind, very understanding. They made my mom feel important. Brad’s integrity and the firm came through for us. They were great.
Words cannot express how tremendously grateful my husband and I are to Nate and his team during the most difficult times in our lives. He walked us through every step with the up most respect, never hesitating to answer any and all questions, or simply giving us a word of encouragement. It was a relief to know that he was always on our side, fighting for our case and believing that it was worth fighting for.