Extensive Research and Preparation
One thing to be aware of when pursuing a malpractice claim is that these actions can take years to resolve. Medical malpractice cases are especially time- and resource-intensive because of the complex nature of the claims involved. Our experienced Richland, WA medical malpractice lawyer team has the skills, resources and experience to conduct exhaustive research and build complex arguments.
Reliance on Medical Expert Witnesses
A crucial element of a medical malpractice case involves proving that the physician (or other professional) who injured you breached the duty of care owed to you by failing to act in ways that a reasonable similar professional would have done under similar circumstances. This usually involves showing that a particular course of treatment was inappropriate or a medical decision was not warranted and wouldn’t have been made by other reasonable physicians.
The practice of medicine is extremely complex, and most non-physicians don’t have the technical expertise or knowledge to demonstrate what is and isn’t reasonable care. That’s why medical malpractice attorneys often rely on expert testimony from medical professionals within the same field as the defendant.
Medical expert testimony is not required in Washington in cases where the errors were obvious (such as performing surgery on the wrong part of the body). The rest of the time, however, testimony from experts crucial to the success of a case.
Medical errors can become apparent immediately or long after the fact. When malpractice is suspected shortly after treatment, plaintiffs have just three years from the date of the negligent act to file a lawsuit. Thankfully, there is some leniency made for victims who don’t discover the malpractice during the initial time frame. In Washington, if you discover the error outside the statute of limitations, you have a one-year window from the date of discovery in which to file suit.
Is an ER Error Medical Malpractice?
Emergency rooms are particularly rife with stress and emotions. These environments tend to be full of people who are experiencing mild to moderate, severe, or life threatening medical conditions. Staff are often familiar with scenarios that could involve life or death. Most have specialized training to work in the ER, and depending on the facility, certain experience may be required. Fast decision making skills are an absolute must, but sometimes details go unnoticed, and the patient suffers harm,
Staff in the ER are human, and do make mistakes. However, when an error is made that should not have been, and the patient suffers harm or dies, it may be possible to file a medical malpractice claim.
Errors in the Emergency Room
As a Richland, WA medical malpractice lawyer, we have handled a number of ER cases, as well as those that involved surgeries, diagnostic testing, and treatment. ER cases are unique in that these facilities are high-stressed, fast-paced environments. The chances of an error happening, is higher than in other medical environments. According to statistics, 100 million people visit the ER each year in the U.S. Of these, 5 to 10 percent will become a victim of a medical error. Although most errors will not lead to any serious harm, some will. The most common errors made in ER facilities include:
-Failure to diagnose (about 57% of cases)
-Failure to manage the care of the patient (approximently 13%)
-Poor execution of care (nearly 5%)
-The remaining involve other reasons, including failure to order the right medication or tests
ER Rooms Are Stressful Environments
There has been ongoing research about emergency room errors. According to the outcome of studies, most errors are happening because of the pressure and stress put on staff. These men and women tend to be responsible for treating many patients, with varying conditions, at the same time. Improper or rushed treatment, failure to diagnose, failure to treat, or confusing one patient with another, can, and does, occur. Most staff are also overworked; with some working 24 hour shifts. Exhaustion, or feelings of being burned out, is not uncommon. The result might be staff who are unable to think clearly.
Our Richmand, VA medical malpractice lawyers have also known of cases involving:
-Sending the patient home too early
-Not listening to the patient or taking them seriously
-Failing to communicate with the patient
-Failing to record the patient's medical history
Working as any medical professional in the ER is not easy, but these staff are expected to cope under pressure. If they cannot do this, they should be working in an environment that does not include the extra stress. If you were injured in the ER, and you believe it was because of the negligent actions of a medical professional, please call a medical malpractice lawyer in Richland, WA.
Learn More in a Free Initial Consultation
Not sure if you have an actionable claim? Our attorneys are ready to meet with you, discuss your tight and options, and give you an honest assessment of your case. To take advantage of your free consultation, call our office to speak with an experienced Richland, WA medical malpractice lawyer today; our team looks forward to speaking with you.
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