We have all had the unfortunate experience, for ourselves or loved ones, of having an accident, injury, or other medical crisis that required the services of a hospital emergency room. Our expectation is that a hospital emergency room is fully equipped and prepared to handle all major and minor emergencies. While we are grateful for the help in our time of distress, the services provided can in some cases be less than adequate, fraught with medical errors, delayed diagnosis, and failure to diagnose and treat, all of which can potentially contribute to a patient’s decline in health or death. The Badgley Law Group is an experienced Orlando law firm practicing in medical malpractice law. Some of our cases include handling medical errors performed in emergency rooms across Florida.
The Most Common Mistakes Made in Hospital Emergency Rooms
Unfortunately, many of the common errors made in the emergency rooms of hospitals can cause significant bodily harm to patients, especially when considering that many of the patients in the E.R. are already in critical condition. Common medical errors made in the emergency room include:
- Medication Errors
- Adverse drug reactions
- Failure to treat patients in a timely manner
- Improper discharge of patients
- Failure to order correct patient tests
- Misinterpretation of test results
The most common diagnostic errors associated with emergency room accidents are acute myocardial infractions, fractures, and appendicitis. The urgent nature of emergency care often requires hospital staff to treat patients with a limited medical history. Rushed medical treatment and monitoring can have grave consequences for the patient if a mistake is made during the process. Poor communication between patients and healthcare professionals is a significant factor in patient dissatisfaction and medical errors. There is a standard of care that is expected when patients are treated, and mistakes made due to incompetence, an understaffed emergency room, unsanitary conditions, or carelessness are grounds for legal action.
Medical Malpractice and the Medical Standard of Care
Medical malpractice is based on the legal theory of negligence and there are four elements that must be met by the plaintiff to recover compensatory damages. These are:
- Duty: Which is established if there is a patient-physician relationship and typically begins when the physician begins evaluation and treatment.
- Breach of duty occurs if the physician has not provided the accepted standard of care.
- Causation correlates the damage to the treatment.
- Also required is the proof of economic and non-economic damages.
There are no Limitations on Economic Damages on Medical Malpractice Claims
Emergency room staff have a duty to act reasonably and appropriately to ensure safe and adequate care for their patients. In the State of Florida, evidence from the plaintiff must be provided that the duty was breached, by providing a sworn statement from a medical expert to the court. Causation is proof that the breach of duty contributed to the harm of the patient and resulting damages takes into account losses such as medical bills, lost wages, lost earning capacity, mental anguish, and pain and suffering. There is a statute of limitations for filing a malpractice claim based on negligence and the hospital can be named in the lawsuit for their healthcare professional’s alleged medical errors. As of June 2018, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that there are no caps on damages, that is, a patient can pursue full compensation for all incurred economic damages as a result of medical malpractice.
Contact the Badgley Law Group for Medical Malpractice Legal Representation
If you or a loved one have been harmed as a result of the improper care and treatment of an emergency room staff, please contact the Badgley Law Group. If you had medical complications as the result of receiving inadequate discharge instructions or were not informed of the signs and symptoms of a serious change in condition, we can help. If they failed to admit you for needed medical treatment or if a medical error occurred during treatment, you may have a claim. Our law firm is experienced in medical malpractice cases and we understand the intricacies involved in successful emergency room litigation. We want you to receive the compensation that you deserve. Call us today for a free consultation at 407-487-4154.