Emergency Room Mistakes
When an individual is injured or very ill, they typically head to an emergency room. It is common to feel exposed, vulnerable, and scared when visiting a hospital, especially if the visit happens because of a traumatic event such as a car accident or a heart attack.
In these emotionally distressing times, we trust doctors and emergency staff to make crucial, time-sensitive decisions about our health. But, the truth is, medical errors are common. Diagnostic errors, including emergency room mistakes, happen to at least 1 in 20 adults.
If you have been in a situation where you or someone you love has had an urgent need for medical attention, you have been to an emergency room and know they can be crowded and stressful, depending on the day and time of your visit. But, you and your family always deserve to receive an acceptable level of service, a standard of care. Emergency room staff and doctors are there to provide you with proper diagnosis and treatment.
What Does “Standard of Care” Mean?
“Standard of care” is a legal term, definitions can shift depending on your location. The basic idea of “standard of care” is that you are entitled to receiving the level of health care attention, including the skill of the doctor and the degree of care, that is available in your community.
While a standard of care may appear to be something that is reasonable to discern, the truth is that medical malpractice cases in New Jersey and Pennsylvania can have a lot of moving parts. An attorney can help you to understand what your rights are.
Common emergency room errors include the following:
- Failing to recognize symptoms of a health crisis, including misdiagnosing an issue
- Not managing treatment properly or failing to provide the correct treatment or procedure
- Correct medications are not provided, furthering illness
- Errors in patient assessment and documentation
- Communication issues between the patient and health care providers
- Staffing problems that cause wait times and complicate health issues
- Prescription errors and delays
- Unsanitary conditions within a healthcare facility
- Diagnostic tests that are performed poorly or misread
Pursuing Compensation for Emergency Room Errors
When individuals are victims of medical mistakes, the damage can be severe. Some patients suffer from deteriorating health, hefty medical bills, pain, suffering, and economic hardships.
It is possible to pursue compensation for health care expenses, lost income, and a deteriorated quality of life. In fact, medical mistakes can be responsible for an individual’s loss of life. In those cases, a wrongful death lawsuit may be a way to alleviate some of the economic pressures placed on a family as a result of the death. Laws vary by state, so be sure to discuss your case with a personal injury attorney experienced in New Jersey and Pennsylvania law.
There are many legal options following an emergency room error. To learn more about what your rights are, contact us at Kardos, Rickles & Hand. Our experienced Bucks County personal injury attorneys can help you understand what your options are and how to move forward.