If you suffered a worsened condition after being treated in urgent care, you might be traumatized and unsure of your legal options to pursue compensation. Because of this, reaching out to a well-versed lawyer who understands what makes St. Petersburg emergency room errors unique could prove to be useful.
How Do Errors Occur in Urgent Care?
In an emergency room setting, malpractice can occur in a variety of ways. One of those ways could be if the emergency room physician failed to take a thorough history and order the proper diagnostic tests, which could include lab work, x-rays, or CAT-scans. These tests are essential to make sure that there are not any serious injuries that would require emergent medical attention affecting the patient.
Furthermore, it is not uncommon for emergency room physicians to discount the reports of the patient or take a less-than-full and complete history, which causes them to order a less-than-full workup of tests and causes the patient, who may need to be admitted to the hospital and treated, to be sent home prematurely. These and other mistakes are part of what makes emergency room errors unique in St. Petersburg, and also determines how liability is applied in these cases.
Understanding Liability After an Error is Made
It is important for anyone who has suffered a worsened medical state after being treated in an ER to understand how liability is applied. Essentially, a physician or other medical professional is not automatically free from blame because a situation was urgent. In Florida, emergency room physicians, like all other physicians, are held to meeting the applicable standards of care with their diagnosis, assessment, and treatment of patients.
Therefore, lawyers routinely investigate and have prosecuted cases against ER physicians who failed to meet the applicable standards of care. There are federal laws which guide the assessment, care, and treatment of emergency rooms that also prevent premature discharge or failing to admit patients who need emergency care. These guidelines are what make many cases stemming from emergency room errors unique in Florida.
However, many people do not realize that most ER doctors are not employees of the hospital. This means that determining who is legally at fault for an emergency room doctor’s malpractice could often require the engagement of a medical malpractice attorney.
How ER Mistakes Differ from Other Malpractice
It is also essential for anyone looking to file a claim to understand how ER mistakes differ from other forms of malpractice. For example, one of the unique factors in emergency room care is that there needs to be an immediate determination by ER physicians and staff to screen out patients who must be quickly admitted to the hospital for life-saving care and treatment. When staff act negligently and fail to order the proper tests or medications, or fail to engage the proper consultants while admitting patients to the hospital for proper care, the outcomes of these mistakes tend to be even more egregious than in other settings.
Because of this, the rules of liability change in emergency room settings versus other medical settings. One of these differences is a federal law called EMTALA, which is often referred to as the anti-patient dumping federal law. Essentially, there has been a problem in certain emergency rooms in which patients who were uninsured or inadequately insured were not being treated and admitted to the hospital because of their lack of insurance.
Since EMTALA, there are very strict rules in place to make sure that patients are not discriminated against and not treated in an emergency room or admitted to the hospital on the basis of lack of insurance or potential inability to pay for the care and treatment. Since EMTALA, there has been an improvement in care, but there are still cases in which a patient-alleged victim was not given the full extent of medical care and treatment potentially, because that individual was uninsured or lacked insurance or an ability to pay.
Seeking a Lawyer’s Help to Discuss What Makes St. Petersburg Emergency Room Mistakes Unique
If someone is the victim of medical malpractice from an ER, their first step should be to contact a competent malpractice lawyer to discuss what makes St. Petersburg emergency room mistakes unique. During this consultation, it is helpful to have all relevant medical records available, in order for the legal professional to fully assess the situation. However, a more thorough explanation of what happened to the patient-alleged victim will likely come after the initial consultation.
If it is determined that there are valid grounds for a legal claim, a seasoned and dedicated lawyer could work tirelessly to pursue compensation on your behalf. To discuss your legal rights and options further, reach out to an attorney today to schedule a consultation.