Emergency rooms are often the first line of defense against a sudden illness. They are also, for many people, a primary source of medical treatment. In either scenario, hospitals are responsible for making sure their emergency rooms are managed properly to prevent harm to patients.
However, due to the fast-paced, chaotic environment of an emergency room, mistakes could happen. When a mistake is made, it may have far-reaching, permanent, and sometimes devastating consequences for the patient and patient’s family.
If you suffer injury due to negligence in the ER, help may be available in the form of a Dorchester emergency room errors lawyer. Let a knowledgeable medical malpractice attorney help guide you through the complex and challenging legal landscape of a malpractice case for the mistake in the ER.
Medical malpractice is a form of negligence that may occur when doctors and other medical professionals fail to meet a certain standard of care. Since time often of the essence in an emergency room, a misdiagnosis, an improper discharge, or another preventable mistake by a healthcare provider might permanently alter the life of a patient.
Injured patients, their families, and Dorchester emergency room errors attorneys working on their behalf may have the right to seek compensation after such an event. Successful medical malpractice cases typically hinge on the question of whether the doctor accused of malpractice lived up to the same level of care and skill that would be expected of an otherwise prudent medical professional in the same field as the accused person working in same conditions under the same circumstances.
In order to prove that the accused breached the accepted standard of care, expert testimony may be required from witnesses and medical experts to describe what should have been expected under the circumstances. Plaintiffs may also need to supply evidence showing how the medical professional violated the medical standard and how that breach directly caused the patient to be hurt.
In some cases, a doctor or medical professional’s employer may also be liable for an emergency room error under a theory known as “respondeat superior”. Specifically, when hospitals have practices and operations that create dangerous conditions—such as by subcontracting out ER work to physicians who may be unfamiliar with hospital procedures and operations or by allowing patients to go unseen by doctors—they too may be held liable for any injuries that result.
Hospitals may also be held liable for damages if they violate any part of the Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA). This act requires that emergency rooms provide treatment to patients with emergency conditions regardless of their citizenship, legal status or ability to pay. A seasoned Dorchester emergency room errors lawyer could help an injured individual establish liability in their claim.
If an injured plaintiff is considering suing for medical malpractice, it may be important for them to be aware of the time restrictions that may affect their case. Massachusetts state law gives plaintiffs of emergency room errors three years from the date of a malpractice incident to file a lawsuit for medical malpractice.
If the three-year deadline passes, and the plaintiff attempts to file a suit, the court may dismiss the case. In certain cases, however, a person might not have reasonably known that the injury was the cause of medical malpractice.
Also known as the discovery rule, the three-year “clock” starts on the date on which the person discovered the alleged malpractice. An emergency room errors attorney in Dorchester could work to ensure a prospective plaintiff does not miss any key deadlines when filing and pursuing their case. Therefore, it is essential to consult a well-established lawyer as soon as possible.
The injuries that happen because of an emergency room error could be debilitating, permanent, and potentially even fatal. If you suspect you were harmed because of negligence in an emergency room, it is highly advisable to consult with an experienced Dorchester emergency room errors lawyer who could evaluate your case and consult with medical experts to determine if malpractice of any kind occurred. Call today to schedule an initial consultation.