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Emergency Room Negligence Every Move Matters

Emergency Room Negligence in Orlando

Emergency departments provide care to patients with an array of medical problems ranging from minor ailments to life-threatening conditions such as heart attacks, stroke and trauma. The majority of emergency department personnel are educated, skilled professionals who have honorably accepted extremely challenging roles. These dedicated individuals are unselfish, hard working and occasionally required to render life or death decisions.

There are thousands of compassionate, qualified healthcare providers in our state that provide care with expertise and sound medical judgment. However, with crowded emergency departments or improperly supervised staff, a patient’s complaints may be overlooked or misunderstood. In some circumstances, the very nature of an emergency may not be recognized or the patient may not receive the immediate care necessary.

Florida Medical Malpractice Attorney, Michael Barszcz, M.D., J.D., and his team of legal professionals have the highest level of respect for the men and women who treat patients and save lives. We object to frivolous lawsuits that interrupt the medical practice of diligent, skilled, health care providers. However, we also believe that it is essential to offer honest, professional and experienced legal counseling to the victims of actual medical negligence. The successful pursuit of a meritorious medical malpractice claim allows the victim to recover reasonable compensation and may lead to improved hospital policies or the prevention of a similar episode of medical negligence.

Call (407) 305-6088 or contact us online today to schedule a free consultation.

What is Emergency Room Negligence?

Emergency room negligence refers to situations in which medical professionals in an emergency department fail to provide the standard of care expected, leading to harm or injury to the patient. Negligence can occur due to various reasons, such as inadequate training, understaffing, communication errors, or medical malpractice.

Common examples of emergency room negligence include:

  • Medication Errors: This involves mistakes in prescribing, administering, or monitoring medications. Common examples include giving the wrong medication, incorrect dosage, or failing to consider allergies and drug interactions.
  • Delay in Diagnosis or Misdiagnosis of Emergency Conditions: Medical professionals may fail to promptly and accurately diagnose severe conditions such as heart attacks, pulmonary embolisms (blood clots), aortic aneurysms, strokes, and internal bleeding. Delayed or incorrect diagnoses can lead to worsened outcomes.
  • Nursing Negligence: Negligence by nurses in the emergency room can include errors in patient care, such as failing to monitor vital signs, administer medications as ordered, or provide proper wound care. It can also involve inadequate communication or documentation.
  • Admission Errors: Failing to take a thorough medical history or make a proper assessment of a patient's condition upon admission can result in incorrect treatment plans or mismanagement.
  • Triage Errors: Triage is the process of prioritizing patients based on the severity of their conditions. Errors in triage can lead to patients with serious conditions not receiving timely care.
  • Patient "Dumping": In some cases, patients without insurance or with limited coverage may be denied necessary diagnostic tests or transferred to other facilities prematurely, even if they have unstable emergency conditions. This practice is illegal and unethical.
  • Physician Negligence: Physicians in the emergency room may fail to fully evaluate or treat a patient's condition. This can involve inadequate physical exams, misinterpretation of test results, or improper medical decision-making.
  • Faulty or Incomplete Laboratory Testing: Errors in conducting or interpreting laboratory tests can result in incorrect diagnoses and treatment.
  • Failure to Adequately Monitor an ER Patient: Failing to continuously monitor a patient's condition can lead to complications. This includes not monitoring vital signs, oxygen levels, or cardiac rhythms.
  • Premature Discharge of a Patient: Releasing a patient from the emergency room before they are medically stable or without appropriate follow-up instructions can lead to complications and readmissions.
  • Failure to Perform Periodic Testing: When patients are in the emergency department, there may be a need for ongoing tests to assess their condition. Neglecting to perform these periodic tests can result in missed changes in a patient's health.

Proving Liability for an Emergency Room Error

To succeed in an emergency room error claim, you typically need to prove certain key elements of medical malpractice.

The following elements are often necessary to establish a successful emergency room error claim:

  1. Duty of Care: You must show that the healthcare provider or institution owed you a duty of care. In the case of an emergency room, this duty of care is established when you seek medical treatment or are admitted to the emergency department. The duty extends to providing care in accordance with the accepted standard of care.
  2. Breach of Standard of Care: You must demonstrate that the healthcare provider or institution breached the standard of care that is expected in similar situations. The standard of care is typically defined as the level of care and skill that a reasonably competent healthcare provider in the same specialty or field would provide under similar circumstances. You may need expert testimony to establish the breach.
  3. Causation: You must establish a direct link between the healthcare provider's breach of the standard of care and the harm or injury you suffered. In other words, you need to show that the error was a proximate cause of your injury. This can be complex, as it may involve proving that, had the proper care been provided, the outcome would have been different.
  4. Injury or Harm: You need to demonstrate that you suffered actual harm or injury as a result of the emergency room error. This harm can include physical pain, emotional distress, medical complications, or financial losses (e.g., medical bills, lost wages).

FAQs About Emergency Room Negligence

How long do I have to file a negligence claim in Orlando?

In Florida, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims, including emergency room negligence, is generally two years from the date of the incident or from when you discovered the injury. However, there are some exceptions and specific rules, so it's crucial to consult with an attorney as soon as possible.

Can I file a claim against an individual doctor or the hospital?

You can potentially file a claim against the individual healthcare provider(s) involved, the hospital, or both. Liability depends on whether the negligence was due to the actions of specific staff members or systemic issues within the hospital.

What role does expert testimony play in these cases?

Expert testimony is critical in medical malpractice cases to establish the standard of care and demonstrate how it was breached. Experts can explain complex medical issues to the court and show how the negligence directly caused the patient's injury.

Can I settle my emergency room negligence claim out of court?

Yes, many medical malpractice claims are settled out of court. Settlements can be beneficial as they often provide quicker resolution and certainty. However, the settlement amount should fairly compensate for your damages. An experienced attorney can negotiate on your behalf to reach a fair settlement.

How does Florida’s “Good Samaritan” law affect emergency room negligence claims?

Florida’s Good Samaritan law offers some protection to healthcare providers who render emergency care in certain situations, often limiting their liability. However, this does not generally apply to ER settings where the duty to treat exists. Consult an attorney to understand how this law might affect your specific case.

How Our Firm Can Help

The staff at the Law Offices of Michael Barszcz, M.D., J.D., serves each client with diligence, dedication, and respect. Mr. Barszcz is committed to maintaining a small firm so that our lawyers can maintain a close professional relationship with each client. We focus on honestly and aggressively protecting the interests of injured people and their families.

Michael Barszcz obtained his Medical Doctorate (M.D.) from Brown University Medical School and his law degree, Juris Doctorate (J.D.), from the University of Florida College of Law. Mr. Barszcz has successfully handled thousands of complex personal injury  cases and uses his medical knowledge for the benefit of his clients during legal representation. In his 24 years of legal practice, Mr. Barszcz has successfully pursued many medical malpractice cases and has recovered over $100 million dollars on behalf of his clients. 

Our firm will provide honest, professional and experienced legal counseling to potential clients. If you live in the Orlando area, or anywhere in the state of Florida, and have questions regarding a medical malpractice claim including emergency room negligence, contact us for a free, confidential consultation.

Verdicts & Settlements

Over $120 Million Recovered For Clients
  • $2,100,000

    Improper medication prescribed.

  • $400,000

    Failure to diagnose and treat bowel perforation leads to death.

  • $500,000

    Failure to diagnose and treat coronary artery disease leads to heart attack.

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