Is The Hospital At Fault When I am re-admitted after An ER Visit?
Medical care is a necessary yet complicated service. We would hope that a visit to the Emergency Room would provide the result we need to correct our emergency and move on. Unfortunately, it is sometimes necessary for a patient to revisit the Emergency Room if their condition does not change or worsens. What does this mean from a liability and legal standpoint?
*Do I Have A Potential Claim?
Emergency medical personnel classified as “First Responders” enjoy stronger legal protections to dissuade frivolous or regular lawsuits against them. The fact of the matter is, no one can be 100% all of the time. Though these people often do the best job they can, job stress and exhaustion can play a role in the quality of care.Most states have at least one law on the books to protect emergency personnel unless that person is found to be grossly negligent, reckless, or caused intentional harm to a patient. The lawsuit will typically be a malpractice suit aimed at the hospital because of that employee’s actions.A person that is admitted, released, and re-admitted to the emergency room may or may not meet this criteria.
*Good Faith Effort
Establishing liability comes down to proving negligence in duty or actions. The patient’s attorney must prove that the personnel acted in a way that caused harm to their patient or recklessly ignored their health problems.A misdiagnosis does not necessarily mean there is liability. Perhaps an emergency room doctor admits a patient, runs tests appropriate to the symptoms, provides a diagnosis and treatment for the patient. That diagnosis may turn out to be wrong and the patient could wind back up in the emergency room. Looking at the process the doctor followed, it would seem that he was attempting to diagnose and fix the problem to the best of his ability; thus it is not likely to cause liability.On the other hand, if a patient comes in complaining of abdominal pain, the doctor spends 5 minutes talking to them, gives them some extra strength aspirin, and releases them; the doctor may be liable if it turns out to be something serious. The doctor did not make a good faith effort to do their job properly, diagnose, the problem, and treat it. The attorney would have a strong basis for establishing negligence.
*An Attorney Consultation
The most effective way to ascertain your available legal routes is to schedule a consultation with an attorney. Free consultations are an industry standard so you have nothing to lose by reaching out. Each case is different and the legal system, particularly surrounding emergency room malpractice, is very complicated.
This information is provided as is and does not constitute “legal advice”.