Medical Malpractice and Visits to the ER
Millions of Americans visit hospital emergency rooms each year, where the environment is often chaotic and fast-paced. Given the hectic atmosphere and the heavy load of patients, medical professionals working in an emergency room are bound to make some mistakes.
Individuals who are harmed as a result of medical malpractice involving a visit to the ER have a right to seek financial compensation for their losses. But how can you know if you were a victim of medical malpractice? Medical malpractice attorneys Sean M. Burke and Jason N. Argos can help individuals in Irvine, CA, and surrounding areas determine if they have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Establishing Medical Malpractice
A medical malpractice lawsuit allows victims of medical negligence to seek financial compensation for damages suffered as a result of substandard medical care. To establish medical malpractice for clients at our Irvine firm, our attorneys must be able to demonstrate three things:
- A doctor-patient relationship existed
- The provided medical care was negligent or substandard
- The patient was harmed by medical negligence
Standard of Care in an ER
Proving that a doctor-patient relationship existed and demonstrating that a patient suffered harm or other damages is usually fairly simple. However, establishing that a medical professional failed to provide the accepted standard of care can be more complex, especially when we are dealing with cases involving the emergency room.
In terms of medical malpractice, the “accepted standard of care” refers to the degree of competence exhibited by the treating medical professional. Patients have the right to expect that their doctor will provide the same degree of care that would be provided by an equally trained medical professional in similar circumstances. When a medical malpractice case involves the ER, that distinction needs to be taken into consideration.
Emergency room doctors and medical personnel are often granted a little more leeway than regular doctors or specialists. Given the environment they are working in, they may not respond to a patient the way a normal doctor or specialist would. For instance, an ER doctor who is treating a patient with severe back pain may perform a few standard tests, provide some medication, and advise the patient to schedule a follow-up appointment with a specialist, whereas a specialist may be expected to perform much more thorough testing that results in an accurate diagnosis and treatment.
While ER doctors may be granted more leeway, that doesn’t mean that they cannot be found liable in a medical malpractice case. If they neglect to provide adequate treatment, refuse hospital admittance, or make other errors that result in patient harm, they should be held accountable. Our attorneys can gather witness testimony to show that these types of errors were a breach of the accepted standard of care.
Compensation for Damages
Victims of medical malpractice are likely to suffer physically, emotionally, and financially. Our attorneys take this into consideration when seeking compensation for our clients. We will pursue financial compensation for all damages related to medical malpractice, which may include:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Cost of therapy and/or rehabilitation
- Lost wages or a loss of wage-earning potential
- Pain and suffering
Contact Us to Learn More
If you suspect that you have been the victim of medical malpractice, attorneys Sean M. Burke and Jason N. Argos would be happy to investigate your case and advise you on your best course of legal action. To discuss your situation in further detail at our Irvine office, send us a message online or call (949) 644-3434.