Emergency rooms play an important role in our communities and do an extraordinary amount of good work helping individuals who have been gravely injured. Nevertheless, mistakes do happen in emergency rooms, and unfortunately, it’s usually the patients who bear the consequences of those mistakes.
A 2018 study determined that many of the errors that occur in emergency rooms stem from cognitive errors on behalf of the physicians treating their patients. In fact, it’s estimated that approximately 45% of all emergency room errors relate back to the doctor’s failure to properly process information about the patient’s condition. Other common errors come from problems with:
- verifying gathered information
- inadequate knowledge
- insufficient information gathering
- misjudging the significance of a symptom, and
- finding and prematurely making an incorrect diagnosis
When these mistakes occur, a patient may not receive the appropriate medication, are discharged with an injury they are unaware they have, develop infection or illness, have inaccurate lab test results or sustain unnecessary pain and suffering due to insufficient monitoring.
Can You Sue an Emergency Room?
If you have been injured or harmed due to the negligent actions of hospital staff, you have a cause of action against that hospital and therefore you have the right to sue them for compensation for any damages you have incurred as a result of those injuries.
Can You Sue for Being Misdiagnosed in an Emergency Room?
Imagine a situation where you go to an emergency room for chest pain and are diagnosed with heartburn. You are given antacids and sent on your way. Soon after, you suffer from a serious and life-altering heart attack. In this circumstance, you may sue the hospital that misdiagnosed you.
Generally speaking, if you were incorrectly diagnosed by a doctor at a hospital, and that misdiagnosis resulted in additional, substantial harm, then you can sue that hospital. Doctors and physicians who work in emergency rooms are obligated to provide their patients with competent care – including making informed and appropriate diagnoses. When they fail to meet that standard, the injured patient has the right to sue the hospital for medical malpractice.
Do Hospitals Usually Settle Out of Court?
In many cases, hospitals settle out of court before the trial actually takes place. Settlement is not always a bad option for injured patients, especially if the settlement amount fairly compensates the patient for all the medical treatment and pain and suffering they had to endure as a result of the doctor’s negligence. Taking a settlement can also save you time, energy and money, as trials are often long, exhausting and expensive. Consulting with a medical malpractice attorney can help you decide if a settlement is fair and whether you should resolve your case out of court.
Is it Hard to Sue a Hospital and Can Carpey Law Help?
Suing a hospital can be a complicated process. There are numerous procedural steps that have to be taken and dozens of rules that have to be followed. Fortunately, Carpey Law has years of experience bringing claims against hospitals and can relieve much of the stress that comes with navigating a lawsuit. If you think you have a claim against a hospital, contact us today.
Stuart A. Carpey, who has been practicing as an attorney since 1987, focuses his practice on complex civil litigation which includes representing injured individuals in a vast array of personal injury cases.