Emergency Room Errors and Hospital Mistakes: Negligence and Medical Malpractice
In the 30 years that Michels & Lew has been helping injured people, we have heard hundreds of stories of emergency room errors and hospital mistakes caused by negligence and medical malpractice. Emergency room errors often lead to catastrophic injuries or death. Our attorneys may be able to help your family recover compensation if you or someone you love has been injured or killed as the result of hospital errors in an emergency room. We may have the resources and the skill you need to pursue compensation.
It is often the case that if a doctor or nurse had taken one extra step—called for a specialist consult, ordered a test, checked the hospital record for allergies—that the injury or death could have been avoided. So what prevented them from taking that one extra step? Many times it is not from the doctor or nurse's lack of concern, but from cost-cutting measures on the part of hospital administration. Sadly, the need to follow corporate decisions often leads to personal tragedy.
If you or a family member was seriously injured in a hospital emergency room, you deserve to know what happened. If we agree to investigate your case, our lawyers and physician will make an evaluation and give you a clear explanation of what they find.
ER and hospital mistakes rooted in negligence
Examples of how hospital negligence can lead to devastating emergency room errors and medical malpractice include:
- If you are in the emergency room, you have the right to request to be evaluated by a doctor, not just a nurse or physician's assistant. Many ERs and urgent care centers advertise "physician on duty," but you never see one. Due to health care costs, many ERs and urgent care centers assign nurse practitioners and physician assistants (PAs) instead. This can save the facility money in the short term but may have tragic consequences.
- No insurance, no care. Federal law requires the ER to perform a medical screening evaluation of you regardless of your ability to pay. If an emergency medical condition exists, California law requires that you be seen by a physician. Whether you have insurance or not, you deserve the highest-quality care.
- Inadequate triage contributing to misdiagnosis: It takes proper information and adequate time for an emergency room doctor to properly diagnose illness. One of the more common emergency room errors is failing to diagnose a serious condition —a heart attack, stroke, appendicitis, infection or spinal cord injury — and sending the patient home prematurely. In one case handled by our firm, the ER doctor failed to diagnose signs of an aneurysm. He sent the patient home, where he later collapsed and sustained severe brain damage.
- Misplaced or inaccurate medical records, including failure to note a reported drug or food allergy, can cause harm.
- Medication errors can result from poor prescription-handling procedures and failure of nursing and pharmacy staff to check medication orders.
Do you suspect an emergency room error caused your injury or the untimely death of a loved one? At Michels & Lew our staff, led by Bradford S. Davis, M.D., will help you discover what went wrong. Our Los Angeles firm serves clients throughout California.