Types of Emergency Room Injuries
Each year, more than 130 million patients visit emergency rooms. In most cases, emergency room nurses and doctors do everything they can to ensure a smooth and safe recovery. But medical professionals are human and occasionally make mistakes.
At the Michigan medical malpractice law firm of Sommers Schwartz, P.C., we represent patients who received substandard medical care and suffered serious injuries as a result. Our team of experienced attorneys has decades of experience handling some of the most complex emergency room medical malpractice cases. We will thoroughly review your case to determine the best legal strategy and help you obtain the maximum compensation available.
Most Common Reasons for an ER Visit
Emergency rooms are designed to treat serious conditions that cannot wait for an appointment with a primary care provider or specialist. However, most emergency room visits are related to one of the following:
- Chest pains.
- Stomach pains.
- Broken bones.
- Respiratory infections.
- Deep lacerations.
- Back pain.
- Skin infections.
- Head injuries.
Doctors are obligated to provide appropriate care regardless of why you visit the emergency room. This requires physicians to use their judgment when determining which patients most need immediate treatment. Unfortunately, doctors occasionally make mistakes in triaging patients, resulting in even worse injuries.
When Does Emergency Room Medical Malpractice Occur?
Emergency rooms are hectic. If you’ve recently been to the ER, you may have had to wait an extended time to be seen by a doctor. Doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals must possess a particular skill set to function effectively in an emergency room. While anyone who visits an emergency room may fall victim to medical malpractice, certain situations and injuries are more likely to result in negligent medical care.
Visits During Busy Times
The busier an emergency room is, the greater the chance that a physician makes an error, forgets to order a test, or provides a patient with the wrong medication. Of course, this is no excuse. When they fail to live up to the standards that all ER doctors must follow, they can be held liable through a medical malpractice lawsuit.
The Need for Medical Testing
The vast majority of emergency rooms are in hospital settings, which gives the emergency room access to all the resources it needs to treat patients. However, just because an emergency room has the resources does not necessarily mean providers will accurately assess a patient’s condition. Often, emergency room physicians overlook symptoms that may be a sign of a severe condition. Thus, patients who arrive at the ER needing medical testing are at a higher risk of suffering an incident of medical malpractice.
Common Types of Medical Malpractice in an Emergency Room
Most doctors would prefer to reflect on a patient’s condition before determining a recommended course of treatment. Doctors must assess a patient’s needs quickly—and accurately—to ensure a positive outcome.
The following are some of the most common reasons medical malpractice occurs in an emergency room:
- A doctor’s failure to perform a comprehensive assessment of a patient’s condition.
- A provider’s failure to follow the proper procedure or protocol.
- Miscommunication between doctors and other medical staff.
- Missing or inadequate equipment, leading to a delay in treatment.
- Inexperienced medical providers.
Regardless of the reason for your visit to the emergency room or the type of injury you suffered due to negligent medical care, the medical malpractice lawyers at Sommers Schwartz, P.C., are here to help. We’ve handled countless medical malpractice claims on behalf of emergency room patients and can help you understand your rights so you can make an informed decision on how to proceed.
How to Prove an Emergency Room Medical Malpractice Case
To prove a case of emergency room medical malpractice, a patient must establish each of the following elements:
- A doctor-patient relationship existed.
- The care provided by the doctor fell below “the degree of diligence and skill which is ordinarily possessed by the members of the profession.
- The doctor’s negligent care resulted in harm to the patient.
- The patient suffered damages, such as a worsening medical condition.
Medical malpractice cases are unique because they occupy the complex intersection of medicine and law. In most medical malpractice cases, a patient must present an expert witness who agrees the defendant doctor acted negligently. These experts can also help the judge or jury understand the complexities that often arise in medical malpractice cases. At Sommers Schwartz, P.C., we work with a respected network of experts nationwide to help prove our client’s cases. We also possess advanced knowledge of the healthcare industry, which allows us to work hand-in-hand with experts.
Did You Suffer Negligent Medical Care in an Emergency Room?
If you or a loved one recently visited the emergency room and left in worse health than when you arrived, you are not alone. Emergency room medical malpractice is all too common. At Sommers Schwartz, P.C., our knowledgeable Michigan emergency room medical malpractice lawyers are here to help. Over the decades, we’ve developed a reputation for being compassionate yet aggressive advocates who effectively pursue maximum compensation for injured patients. When you bring Sommers Schwartz, P.C. onto your legal team, you can rest assured that your case is in capable hands.