Philadelphia Emergency Room Error Attorney
Visiting an emergency room is a common occurrence in the state of Pennsylvania, which recorded over 6.2 million emergency room trips in 2017. However, the last thing you expect while receiving emergency medical treatment is to incur further injuries. Unfortunately, due to inattention, overcrowding, or a host of other preventable issues, emergency room error is all too common. If you or a loved one suffered due to an emergency room error, contact a Philadelphia emergency room error attorney at Rosenbaum & Associates to discuss your case.
Why Choose Rosenbaum & Associates for Your ER Error Case?
When residents of Philadelphia suffer injuries caused by mistakes made in the ER, a skilled Philadelphia medical malpractice attorney can help them recover fair compensation. Here are a few reasons why you should trust Rosenbaum & Associates with your injury claim:
- Rosenbaum & Associates is a leading Philadelphia law firm focused on holding doctors and hospitals accountable for the injuries and other damages malpractice causes.
- Together, our lawyers have over 50 years of experience, including the area of medical malpractice. We have helped over 20,000 victims receive positive outcomes from their personal injury and malpractice cases.
- Our firm’s extensive, nation-wide network of experienced legal professionals and expert medical specialists allows us to represent victims wherever they may live.
- We approach every malpractice case as if it will go to trial, to ensure our clients the best possible settlement even if cases settle out of court.
- Our firm accepts no attorney’s fees until you recover compensation for your damages, and shoulders the risk for every case we accept.
Call our office today at (215) 569-0200 to schedule a free case evaluation. An experienced Philadelphia emergency room error lawyer will review the specifics of your case and advise you on your legal options for recovery.
Why Should You Hire a Lawyer?
While in the emergency room, you may receive treatment from a number of medical professionals. Thus, it can be difficult to determine liability after an emergency room error, and even more difficult to prove negligence and medical malpractice. A seasoned Philadelphia emergency room error lawyer has the resources to determine the cause of your injury and the knowledge to build a medical malpractice case. Meanwhile, you have peace of mind knowing that your case is safe while you recover from your injuries.
Compensation for Emergency Room Errors
Patients injured by emergency room errors can recover a number of medical malpractice damages. However, the patient must first show the injuries result from medical malpractice, and that the injuries led to damages the courts can assign a monetary value to.
Proving medical malpractice in emergency room injury cases is often more difficult than other hospital cases, since the chaotic nature of emergency rooms leads many courts to allow emergency room physicians a limited amount of leeway during frantic emergency situations. Still, physicians remain responsible for substandard care resulting in injuries.
To prove medical malpractice in an emergency room error case, patients and their Philadelphia emergency room error attorney must prove several facts:
- Existence of a doctor-patient relationship. A doctor-patient relationship usually exists once an emergency room doctor examines and treats you. Usually, evidence of a doctor-patient relationship exists in the form of your emergency room documentation slip.
- Negligent behavior on the part of the doctor. If the doctor breaches the standard of care of the emergency room, defined by the level of care most competent doctors provide in the same situation, and acts irresponsibly, a patient can usually prove negligence. Medical experts usually provide testimony to indicate the expected standard of care and list ways in which the physician breached it.
- The negligence led to injury on the part of the patient. To award damages, the court must see that the physician’s breach of the standard of care caused foreseeable harm to the patient.
Overall, three categories of damages exist:
- General damages. General damages consist of any patient suffering that does not have a dollar figure. Most often, general damages refer to:
- Emotional or physical pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of the patient’s future ability to earn income
The patient and other witnesses will provide testimony regarding the extent of pain and suffering, the cost of a job loss, and the consequences of the injury to the patient’s quality of life.
- Special damages. Special damages refer to expenses that have a precise value, including medical bills, and lost wages due to missed work. Usually, your attorney will ask for documentation of your medical bills, your wages, and any other expenses resulting from the incident.
- Punitive damages. In medical malpractice cases, patients receive awards for punitive damages if the medical professional knew he or she acted in a harmful manner. Often, states place caps on the amount of punitive damages the courts can award. Pennsylvania has no such cap, but New Jersey does, at $350,000, or five times the amount of other compensation, whichever is greater.
Time Limits for Filing an Emergency Room Error Claim in Pennsylvania
Each state in the United States sets its own time limit, called a statute of limitations, for filing personal injury and medical malpractice claims. In Pennsylvania, the time to file a medical malpractice claim expires two years after the injured person realizes an injury occurred, becomes aware of the negligent act, and realizes the negligent act caused the injury.
Even if the patient does not realize the above three factors right away, he or she must still file the suit no more than seven years after the initial incident. Similarly, children injured by medical malpractice have seven years from their twentieth birthdays to file a medical malpractice suit.
In situations where medical malpractice from emergency room errors caused the death of a patient, the patient’s estate must pursue a wrongful death suit. In Pennsylvania, the estate has two years from the date of the death to pursue a wrongful death suit. If you have any further questions regarding the statute of limitations in Pennsylvania, consult a knowledgeable emergency room error attorney in Philadelphia.
Types of Emergency Room Errors
Though practically limitless causes of emergency room injuries exist, they fall into four categories.
- Errors in diagnosis. Diagnostic errors are the most common emergency room error, and many times the most serious. Patients wrongly diagnosed or left undiagnosed often suffer further injury from a condition they did not know they had.
- Errors in communication. Communication errors occur when staff fail to adequately communicate with the patient or each other. Communication errors may result in missed or unnecessary treatments, improper administration of medications, and other erroneous procedures performed in the wrong contexts.
- Errors in documentation. These can result in treatments given to the wrong individuals, missed treatments, inappropriate discharge, and other erroneous procedures. Clerical and administrative errors can compound existing conditions.
- Errors regarding medications. Patients receive improper dosages, too-frequent, or infrequent medications, or even the wrong medications. Aside from the dangers of not receiving treatment for the actual condition, consuming unnecessary medications can lead to further injury.
Emergency Medical Treatment & Active Labor Act
In 1986, the United States Congress passed the Emergency Medical Treatment & Active Labor Act or EMTALA. This act exists to ensure that patients seeking treatment at an emergency room must receive a medical screening to determine whether the patient suffers from an emergency condition. If the screening reveals an emergent condition, the emergency room must provide treatment until the patient is stable enough for transfer.
Similarly, hospitals must admit pregnant women entering the emergency room in active labor, and provide treatment until the baby is born. Hospitals failing to abide by EMTALA can receive legal penalties. If an emergency room wrongly turned you away, you may pursue medical malpractice based on EMTALA violations.
Free Consultation With a Philadelphia Emergency Room Error Lawyer
Rosenbaum & Associates has been assisting Pennsylvania and New Jersey residents in pursuing medical malpractice suits against negligent medical professionals for over 25 years. We strongly believe in holding negligent doctors and hospitals accountable for their actions and pursuing your case diligently to ensure you receive a positive outcome. If you or a loved one suffered injuries because of an emergency room error, contact our firm today for a no-obligation consultation.