The hospital emergency room is often the point of entry into the healthcare system for someone who is ill or injured. According to the Centers for Disease Control, there are over 100 million ER visits per year in the United States. It has been estimated that some form of medical error occurs in 5% to 10% of these visits. That means that there are approximately 5-10 million medical errors in United States emergency rooms every year.
If you or a loved one has been injured by emergency room negligence in Philadelphia, contact the lawyers at Youman & Caputo for legal assistance. We are experienced medical malpractice attorneys who can help you seek fair financial compensation for the mistakes made by an ER or its workers in Pennsylvania. We care about our clients and offer free initial case reviews.
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What is Negligence in an Emergency Room?
How Negligence Occurs in an Emergency Department
What Are Common Emergency Room Errors?
What Factors Commonly Result in Errors?
What’s the Average Settlement for Emergency Room Malpractice?
How An Emergency Room Negligence Attorney Can Help
Speak to a Skilled Lawyer Today
Medical negligence is a tort or civil wrongdoing. It occurs when a health care practitioner, professional or facility falls short of the standards of care when treating a patient. All medical providers owe a duty of care to their patients. This duty of care is to treat patients with the proper amount of attention, detail and respect. If an emergency room or any of its staff members falls short of the accepted standards of care, resulting in patient injury, illness or death, the victim or family can file a medical malpractice claim in Philadelphia.
Emergency room negligence can take place at a standard hospital in Philadelphia or a dedicated ER. In a hospital setting, the emergency department should be properly managed and organized to provide the highest standard of patient care possible. This includes specific protocols for quickly and efficiently diagnosing emergency cases. Misdiagnoses, failures to diagnose and delayed diagnoses are common examples of emergency room negligence.
Decisions about what diagnostic tools to use and whether to admit patients to the hospital for further care can mean the difference between life and death. The usual process of patient evaluation involves the formulation of a “differential diagnosis,” which is a medical term for a list of possibilities of what might be ailing the patient. The differential diagnosis will frequently contain several possibilities, some of which are true emergencies and others of which are not.
The emergency department’s responsibility is to rule out those possibilities on the differential diagnosis that are true emergencies and will cause harm if not immediately identified and treated. Misinterpreting a patient’s symptoms, failing to order the proper tests, ignoring a patient’s medical history or misreading test results could all lead to harmful misdiagnoses in an emergency department.
Designated emergency rooms in Philadelphia should also be operated with the utmost care and attention to patients’ needs. The medical industry has high standards in place for emergency rooms in terms of organization, communication, and the correct patient intake and treatment protocols. Failure to follow these guidelines, due to either flawed systems or human error, too often leads to an otherwise avoidable poor outcome.
The most common types of emergency room medical errors are diagnostic errors (failure to diagnose, misdiagnosis and delay in diagnosis), failure to properly manage treatment, improper treatment, and medication errors.
All of the following factors have the potential to cause serious injury:
Staffing/workflow issues are becoming increasingly common in today’s healthcare environment. More and more emergency rooms attempt to “fast track” patients or otherwise separate them into categories that predetermine the level of care they will receive in the emergency department. This can result in critical decisions being made by physicians-in-training (medical residents), physician assistants and nurse practitioners rather than emergency room physicians, leading to missed or wrong diagnoses.
Medical malpractice at an emergency room is a serious tort that can result in a low level of patient care and related injuries or illnesses. A victim of emergency room negligence may be entitled to financial compensation for many related losses or damages, including medical expenses, follow-up care, travel costs, diminished quality of life, pain and suffering, out-of-pocket expenses, and the wrongful death of a loved one. Our Philadelphia wrongful death attorneys are prepared to advocate for your family with determination and integrity.
The value of an emergency room malpractice case depends on the unique circumstances. An “average settlement” will not accurately estimate the value of your specific case. The only way to get an idea of what your case is worth is by consulting a medical malpractice attorney. An attorney will carefully analyze the facts and details of your case, including your related losses, to estimate its value. Then, your attorney will use proven legal strategies to demand maximum financial compensation from one or more defendants.
Emergency room negligence and malpractice cases in Pennsylvania pay out settlements and judgment awards that are appropriate based on the extent of the victim’s losses and other factors. Some medical malpractice cases result in six-figure outcomes in the realm of $300,000 to $400,000, while others have been resolved for millions of dollars. For example, Youman & Caputo resolved one emergency room negligence case with a settlement of $8.25 million. The best way to understand the value of your case is by consulting with one of our lawyers.
The Philadelphia emergency room negligence lawyers at Youman & Caputo are very experienced in the handling of emergency room cases and have a complete understanding of how and why these mistakes occur.
We have handled many cases involving failure to diagnose a heart attack or stroke in the ER, missed diagnosis of spinal cord injury or compromise, missed diagnosis of sepsis, medication errors, radiology misreads and many other emergency room errors.
Our medical malpractice attorneys can answer your legal questions, investigate the emergency room, collect evidence, handle the claims filing process on your behalf, hire qualified medical experts and take many other steps to optimize your case outcome.
For more information about an injury or illness caused by negligence or malpractice at an emergency room or hospital emergency department in Philadelphia, call (215) 302-1999 to request a free case consultation at Youman & Caputo. We are reputable and highly successful medical malpractice lawyers who have been trusted by clients for decades. Contact us today to discuss your specific case in detail.
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