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Emergency Room Malpractice

Every area of medicine has a problem with malpractice. However, the hospital emergency department is the medical malpractice situation on steroids. Medical negligence happens all the time in the ER, and it frequently results in severe consequences.

Our emergency room malpractice lawyers are well-versed in determining the most effective methods to maximize compensation for our clients. Our first aim when taking your case is to get as much money for our consumers as we can.

If you or a loved one has been affected by medical negligence at an emergency department, call Texas Personal Injury Lawyers at (888) 997-2148 for a free consultation. You will never be charged any expenses or fees unless we can win compensation for you through a settlement or a jury trial.

When Can You Sue For Emergency Room Malpractice

Every day, people are injured and must go to an emergency department for treatment. In some cases, a doctor’s mistakes might result in more injury to the patient than was intended. When a doctor’s carelessness causes damage, the victim may be able to seek financial compensation for the damages sustained.

Emergency Room Environment


The emergency department is one of the most chaotic places imaginable when you are wounded and require immediate care. Doctors come into contact with patients who do not intend to visit the hospital as a result of violent actions, accidents, or a sudden onset of sickness or other medical problems. As a result, the scenario may be chaotic. Because an emergency room physician does not have enough time to evaluate the situation before acting, medical records may go overlooked. Because of these factors, emergency room specialists may be given more latitude than other clinicians who have the time to consider a treatment plan. Despite the fast pace of emergency rooms, they do not immunize doctors against liability in all instances when they provide bad care to a patient.

Proving An Emergency Room Medical Malpractice Case


In order to establish a medical malpractice claim, the victim must show that he or she was harmed. If any of these components are missing, the jury is instructed to return a verdict in favor of the defendant. The following elements must all be proved by a plaintiff seeking compensation for medical malpractice:

  • Doctor-Patient Relationship

The first component is that the doctor and patient have a prior relationship. A doctor may, for example, check up on a patient or prove that the physician he or she is suing was an attending physician who treated him or her when he or she arrived at the emergency department. This aspect is frequently quite simple to establish. The duty that the doctor owed to the patient is demonstrated when the doctor-patient relationship is shown. A physician-patient relationship establishes a higher obligation on the part of the doctor than would exist if no such relationship existed. If a patient overhears his or her doctor giving generic advice about a condition and then follows it to his or her own disadvantage, no doctor-patient relationship has thus far developed.

  • Negligence

In medical negligence cases, a doctor’s vulnerability to liability is determined differently than in other types of negligence claims. In medical malpractice claims, the expectation that a doctor is held to is the standard of care that competent physicians in a similar jurisdiction with similar circumstances would have provided.

The technicalities of establishing this component are usually the most challenging. The standard of care required of emergency room doctors differs from that expected of doctors in less hectic situations.

In an emergency scenario, there may be a variety of problems. For example, if a patient comes to see a doctor for a long-term illness that isn’t necessarily life-threatening, the physician may go through a series of tests in order to identify the source of the condition. However, in an emergency department, the circumstances are frequently so critical that there may not be time for more thorough testing such as a CT scan or an MRI. This change in context does not negate the doctor’s obligation to undertake some tests in order to look for the source of the problem. However, these expectations must be adjusted to take into account the circumstances.

In order to win such a case, patients must typically offer expert testimony. The expert determines what the appropriate level of care should have been in the circumstance. Then, the victim’s story is presented to establish that the medical provider deviated from established practice. In this manner, the victim may show that the treatment he or she received fell below acceptable care.

  • Harm

A victim of medical malpractice must be able to demonstrate that he or she has been harmed in order to recover for medical negligence. The need for further medical treatment as a result of a misdiagnosis, corrective treatment, missed income, consequences on the victim’s life, and pain and suffering qualify as examples of harm.

A medical malpractice lawyer can explain the components of a medical malpractice claim in detail. He or she can discuss legal methods, as well as how to establish the patient’s case against an emergency room doctor or another healthcare professional, at length. He or she may also talk about a possible settlement at some time during the procedure.

Emergency Room Liability Medical Malpractice


In Texas, patients can sue emergency departments for negligence, which leads to significant harm or death.

The burden of proof is quite high.  The defendant must disprove the plaintiff’s claim of medical malpractice by “preponderance of the evidence,” which means that he or she may not have met a reasonable standard of care and skill expected of any reasonably prudent physician or healthcare provider in the same situation.

Willful And Wanton Negligence


This is more than unintentional inattention, lack of care, or simple mistake in judgment. “Willful and Wanton Negligence” implies deliberate negligence on the part of the defendant. It implies a total lack of concern for the rights, safety or well-being of those affected by it that would merit judicial sanction.

In 2003, the Texas Legislature passed this stringent barrier as part of a slew of similarly tough and restrictive “tort reform” bills. As a result, healthcare providers in an emergency setting are fairly secure from patient lawsuits. The circumstances, though, are not out of reach.

The following are some of the most significant aspects to consider when considering a hospital emergency department case: The Court is required to instruct the jury to consider, in addition to other relevant factors, the following:

  • Whether or not the caretaker had access to the patient’s medical history, and whether or not they were able to obtain a complete medical history. This is critical since in a genuine emergency when life-saving actions are being taken, healthcare providers may not have time to gather a full medical history. In many situations that occur in the emergency department, this is not the case.
  • What if the patient had a prior relationship with another health care provider? This is critical because, in a true life-threatening emergency, a healthcare practitioner may not be familiar with all of the patient’s medical history, prescriptions, allergies, and so on.
  • the circumstances constituting the emergency.

A Few Notable Exceptions


One exception to the awareness of emergency room healthcare providers is for medical care that takes place after a patient has been stabilized and can participate in non-emergency treatment.

In addition, if the emergency occurred as a result of the person providing the care, he or she is not entitled to protection under the emergency medical care law.

Finally, if the negligence that occurred was not connected to the initial medical emergency, you may not be able to recover under these stringent ER room rules.

What Types Of Cases Are Still Viable?


So, you might inquire, given how difficult the legal criteria for pursuing emergency department negligence claims are, what sorts of cases still make sense?

Although this is not an exhaustive list, the following types of cases are under review, have previously been handled, or are presently being pursued:

  • Failure to diagnose and treat heart attack resulting in death.
  • Improper insertion of IV resulting in permanent nerve damage.
  • Failure to discover an arterial embolism resulted in a patient having to have an above the knee amputation.
  • Patient “dumping,” which means failing or refusing to treat a patient who does not have health insurance. (Note: This only applies to true emergencies, such as when medical treatment is required to stabilize a severely ill patient and the failure to provide medical care results in the patient’s death.)
  • Dropping patients or allowing them to fall
  • Failure to identify life-threatening problems that were correctly diagnosed but then dismissed from the ER, resulting in a patient’s death.
Need A Free Evaluation of Your Emergency Room Malpractice Case?

The team at Texas Personal Injury Lawyers is made up of experienced medical malpractice attorneys who are dedicated to assisting people who have been seriously or fatally injured by the carelessness of healthcare practitioners.

Call us at (888) 997-2148 for your free consultation. We take cases on a contingency fee basis and there are no costs unless we win, and the consultation is completely FREE. Contact us to learn what Texas Personal Injury Lawyers can accomplish for you.