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Cochran Firm Blog, Philadelphia

Understanding Emergency Room Negligence and Standard of Care

emergency room

ER’s are unquestionably one of the most chaotic places in a hospital. This is even more true on busy days when there is a multitude of patients coming in that need immediate care. 

There’s no question that ER doctors definitely don’t have an easy job. Having said that, this doesn’t excuse them from making serious medical mistakes that harm their patients. Medical mistakes can be physically harmful to the patient, and a financial or emotional burden as well. A single missed spinal injury can result in thousands of dollars of physical therapy down the line for a patient. 

If you or someone you love has been the victim of emergency room negligence, don’t hesitate to take action. Reach out to a lawyer for a consultation, and find out what your legal options are.

In the meantime, read below regarding some of the basics related to emergency room negligence.

What is Emergency Room Negligence?

In short, emergency room negligence is when the medical staff at an emergency room do not provide the expected standard of care.

For example, say your ER doctor was intoxicated, sleepy, or otherwise debilitated. If their inadequate state contributed to a mistake that they made (for example, ignoring obvious physical symptoms), and this then caused irreparable damage to the patient, this could be a case of emergency room negligence. 

The most important thing to do if you suspect that you may have been a victim of negligence is to contact a lawyer as soon as possible. A good lawyer can tell you whether or not your case shows “negligence”, and what your legal options are.

What Is A Standard Of Care?

“Standard of care” is a complicated term to pin down completely. In essence, however, it means the standard or average level of care that someone in the industry should provide. Oftentimes, a fellow medical specialist is required in order to ascertain whether or not a medical provider’s care met the general standard.

For example, in the case of a misdiagnosis, a third-party medical specialist might be called to testify in regards to whether or not the misdiagnosis was a reasonable mistake and whether or not most doctors would have caught the error.

Possible Harm Caused

Emergency room negligence can lead to some serious repercussions for a patient. These repercussions can include not only physical harm but financial and emotional harm as well.

Here are some possible examples of harm caused to a patient:

  • Medical bills that result from a need for corrective treatment/therapy.
  • Inability to work or earn as a result of medical malpractice (for example, a construction worker that was the victim of a permanent spinal injury).
  • A loss in quality of life (for example, physical disfigurement or chronic pain).

Keep in mind that even a minor injury can snowball, causing further harm to your quality of life down the road. Think about possible lost wages or physical therapy bills. These are all things that the responsible party should shoulder. Don’t let yourself be taken advantage of. Contact a lawyer as soon as possible if you or a loved one has been the victim of emergency room negligence.

Your Legal Options

As mentioned earlier, the best way to figure out your legal options is to set up a consultation with a legal expert. Since medical and malpractice laws differ depending on what state you live in, it’s best to get advice from a professional.

Legal cases often involve a lot of paperwork and legal jargon that can be very difficult to deal with if you have no legal background. Keep in mind that a single misfiled form can lead to your case being prolonged or completely dismissed. So make sure to get some help!

Common Questions

Here are some answers to common questions regarding emergency room negligence and medical malpractice.

Can You Sue A Hospital For Misdiagnosis?

This is an interesting question, and the answer might depend on a variety of factors, especially in cases of failure to diagnose. You may be able to sue a hospital if the person that misdiagnosed you is an employee. Having said that, if the doctor that misdiagnosed you is simply affiliated with the hospital, in the way that a contractor might be, you might have to sue the doctor directly. The best way to know for sure is to consult a legal expert.

How To Sue A Hospital?

The first step is to find a lawyer and make an appointment for a consultation. This is especially true if you are going up against a large organization such as a hospital. They are sure to have a large legal team and plenty of resources available to them.

How To Sue A Doctor?

As we mentioned earlier, the best first step to any lawsuit is getting in touch with a legal expert. A lawyer will be able to tell you whether you have grounds for a lawsuit, what the possible outcomes might be, and how to move forward. Keep in mind that unintended legal mistakes can cause you a lot of grief down the road. Contact the Cochran Firm Philadelphia office for a FREE consultation. 

How To Sue A Hospital Without A Lawyer?

Although you might technically be able to file a lawsuit without a lawyer, it is definitely not recommended.

Can You Sue A Hospital For Not Treating You?

The short answer is that it depends on whether or not it is possible to prove negligence and that there was long-term harm to the patient. Additionally, you may or may not be able to sue the hospital directly depending on whether the medical provider that injured you is considered an “employee”. 

How Much Does A Lawyer Cost?

Pricing varies heavily depending on what legal firm or practice you’re looking to hire. Fortunately for our clients, the Cochran Firm has a great pricing model that makes legal help affordable to anyone! 

All of our personal injury cases are handled on a contingent fee basis. This fee comes out of the final settlement only if we win the case. That means less risk to you.

Still have questions? No problem, simply schedule your FREE consultation and ask one of our legal experts.

Cochran Firm Philadelphia

We hope that this article was helpful. Keep in mind, however, that every case of emergency room negligence is different. There are a variety of factors to consider, including what kind of harm was done to the patient, who employs the ER doctor that committed the negligence, and much more. The best thing to do is to reach out to a legal professional for a consultation. 

Here at the Cochran Firm Philadelphia office, we offer over 40 years of experience, a team of strong, qualified lawyers, and a law firm that truly cares about its clients. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us – our consultations are FREE. Even better, we do not charge our clients any upfront legal fees. Our fees come out of the final settlement if, and only if we win the case. Give us a call to set up a consultation.

Our office serves all of Philadelphia and covers a wide range of personal injury cases. From auto accidents to consumer fraud, we’ve got your back! Call us today at 1.800.969.4400.