Emergency Room Negligence Attorney serving Pittsburgh, Erie, and across Pennsylvania
According to the CDC, 136.3 million people visit emergency rooms every year. In 2011 alone, 20% of American adults reported visiting an emergency room at least once in the past year. This flood of patients often increases the incidence of medical malpractice and emergency room negligence. If you’ve suffered as a result of ER negligence, our seasoned Pittsburgh Emergency Room Negligence Attorney may be able to help.
The emergency room is usually a busy, chaotic hospital location. Some patients are seen and discharged in less than fifteen minutes, while other patients, especially those with serious illnesses and injuries, wait half an hour or more. Unfortunately, excessive wait times are not the only problems that can lead to emergency room negligence and medical malpractice. Other reasons may include:
- Failure to screen emergency room doctors and nurses
- Inadequate training
- Hospital failure to maintain an adequate number of personnel per shift
- Unsanitary emergency room conditions
- Failure to keep adequate patient records and track patient treatment
- Delayed diagnosis or failure to diagnose
In some cases, emergency room negligence occurs because the ER refused to treat a patient. Under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA), an emergency room cannot turn away a patient because of his or her inability to pay. The EMTALA requires the ER to provide a full medical screening of each patient and stabilize the patient as well as possible.
In cases where the EMTALA was violated, the hospital, not the ER doctor, is liable. The hospital can be sued for financial and other damages if they transferred the patient to another ER instead of or in conjunction with refusing treatment. The hospital can also be sued if the patient could have paid for services, but was turned away or transferred without treatment.
ER Negligence Can Kill
Usually, visiting the emergency room is not a choice. Emergency room patients generally receive treatment from doctors they have never met, who may not have the training needed to treat their injuries or illnesses. Many doctors, especially in the emergency room, misdiagnose patients based on superficial characteristics. For example, the doctor may think a patient is too young to have a stroke or heart attack or too fit to suffer from complications of type two diabetes. This often leads the physician to underestimate the risks associated with particular symptoms.
Emergency room negligence can lead to hospital-acquired injuries or severe infections such as staph infections. Some negligence cases involving failure to diagnose or treat a disease lead to heart attacks, ruptured aneurysms, and other life-threatening conditions. In these cases, the patients may die, leaving their families grieving and wondering where to turn for legal help.
Can I Win My Negligence Case?
Medical malpractice cases, including ER negligence, require the patient or his or her family to prove a competent doctor, under the same circumstances, would not have made the same mistakes as the doctor on trial. This can make ER negligence cases difficult to win because emergency rooms are naturally chaotic and treatment can easily become rushed. However, winning such a case is by no means impossible.
Emergency Negligence Attorney in Pittsburgh
Biancheria & Maliver PC is a highly experienced medical malpractice law firm in the Pittsburgh area. Deborah Maliver is a board-certified internist and a J.D., which gives her plenty of valuable experience finding specific emergency room mistakes. Biancheria & Maliver’s combined experience can make a decisive difference in the resolution of your claim.
A statute of Pennsylvania malpractice law states if your case occurred after 2002, you have up to seven years to file suit. Even if you did not discover alleged malpractice or experience complications right away, contact us. We offer free consultations. If we do not win your case, you will not owe us anything. Contact our office today to settle your emergency room negligence case in Pittsburgh or Erie, PA.