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How Do I Know if I Have an Emergency Room Malpractice Case?

Posted on in Medical Malpractice

Schaumburg medical malpractice lawyersEmergency room doctors, nurses, and other staff are held to extremely high standards. They are often the first medical professionals that an injured or ill person seeks help from. ER staff have the crucial responsibility of assessing a patient’s condition and determining the next steps. They often deal with immediate, life-threatening medical emergencies. If an ER doctor makes a mistake, it can cost the patient his or her life. If you were injured or a loved one died and you suspect that substandard emergency room treatment was the cause, you may have a valid medical malpractice case.

What Constitutes Substandard Medical Treatment at the ER?

Going to the emergency room does not guarantee a positive outcome. ER doctors and nurses cannot always save a patient or fix their medical issues. However, ER staff are expected to provide medical care that meets the accepted medical standard. In other words, they must provide the level of care that a reasonably competent medical staff of the same profession would have provided in a similar situation. If a doctor fails to provide medical care that meets the accepted medical standard and the patient is harmed or killed as a result, this may be considered medical negligence. If the patient’s injury or death is caused by negligent medical care and the injury or death causes damages, this is medical malpractice.

ER doctors often must make quick decisions with limited information. For example, an ER doctor may not have time to get a full patient history or to order a battery of tests before he or she begins treatment. Because of this, the standard of care that ER doctors must meet may be lower than what would be expected of a primary care physician or another medical professional in a less immediate situation.  

Expert Witnesses Are Often Used to Prove ER Malpractice  

Usually, testimony from expert witnesses is used to prove that an ER doctor’s actions were negligent. Lay people may not know whether a doctor’s decision was reasonable or not. There can be dozens of factors that play into a doctor’s treatment options. Expert witnesses in a medical malpractice claim are usually highly respected medical professionals in the same field as the defendant. They can evaluate the circumstances of the patient’s injury or death and offer testimony about whether they would have made the same decisions in the same situation. They may call upon their own experience and opinions as well as medical publications when offering expert testimony.

Contact a Palatine ER Malpractice Lawyer

If you believe that you or a loved one were the victim of medical malpractice, contact Newland & Newland, LLP. An Arlington Heights medical malpractice attorney from our firm can investigate your case and work with medical experts to determine if malpractice occurred. You may be entitled to compensation for medical and rehabilitation costs, pain and suffering, and more. Call 847-797-8000 for a free consultation today.




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