Doctors, nurses, technicians, pharmacists, and other medical providers in emergency rooms routinely make rapid-fire decisions that can have immediate and long-lasting health implications for sick and injured patients. Unfortunately, the stressful nature of an emergency room means mistakes can happen frequently.
When negligent medical mistakes happen in the emergency room, patients can suffer needlessly and sustain life-altering or fatal injuries. If you have been injured due to emergency room malpractice in Connecticut, you have the right to seek compensation from the doctors, nurses, and hospitals who were medically negligent.
The team at Wocl Leydon can help you manage the challenges of an emergency room malpractice case. If you believe you may have grounds to file a medical malpractice claim against an emergency room doctor, nurse, or hospital, contact us today to discuss the details of your claim in a free and confidential consultation.
Types of Errors That Can Occur in an Emergency Room
Emergency rooms are frequently chaotic environments that leave medical professionals stressed, rushed, and more prone to committing serious medical errors. The following types of emergency room errors are commonly seen in malpractice lawsuits:
- Misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose – Incorrectly evaluating or failing to recognize the symptoms of illnesses and failing to properly diagnose a condition
- Delayed diagnosis or treatment – Neglecting to provide a timely diagnosis or timely treatment for a patient’s condition
- Failure to monitor or evaluate – Neglecting to properly observe or assess the condition of patients who are ill or injured
- Medication errors – Administering insufficient or excessive medication, administering medication to the wrong patient, or failing to provide proper medication
- Contaminated blood transfusions – Administering blood transfusions contaminated with bacteria or other pathogens to patients
- EMT and paramedic errors – Medication errors, improper assessment, and diagnosis of an illness or condition, and delayed treatment of an individual en route to the hospital
- Failure to properly triage patients – A hospital’s or ER staff’s failure to timely and properly prioritize care to patients in the ER.
What Do You Have to Prove in an ER Malpractice Claim?
It can be difficult to prove the existence of medical malpractice in any case. Demonstrating medical negligence in emergency room malpractice claims is often challenging. To recover compensation in an ER malpractice claim, you must be able to establish three key elements:
- There was a doctor-patient relationship. This requirement is usually simple to fulfill since a doctor-patient relationship is established anytime a patient is examined or treated in an emergency room. Patients must show that the relationship was in effect when the malpractice took place to prove this part of a case. In most cases, ER admittance and treatment records are adequate.
- The ER failed to provide appropriate care. Patients must establish the proper standard of care that would apply to other ER doctors and ER nurses under similar circumstances. This means that expert testimony is needed from emergency medicine specialists who can testify to the kind of care that would be considered reasonable and competent for a specific situation. Then, patients need to demonstrate that the ER doctors or staff failed to provide proper or timely care based on these standards.
- The ER’s negligence directly caused you harm. Finally, patients must prove that the negligence of an ER doctor, ER nurse, or hospital was the cause of the harm they suffered. This can be difficult to establish since most emergency room patients are already affected by severe injuries or illnesses. Written expert witness reports from qualified expert witnesses are required in proving this element of an emergency room malpractice claim.
Compensation for Losses After an Emergency Room Error in Connecticut
The money you could receive from a successful ER medical malpractice claim is intended to compensate you for all of the losses and damages related to your injury or illness. You could be entitled to substantial compensation that covers:
- The cost of past medical and hospital treatment
- The cost of the additional care needed to treat the injuries and damages that you sustained as a result of ER malpractice
- The value of any wage losses that you experienced due to missed time at work
- Losses in your projected future earnings, if you are permanently unable to return to your previous occupation
- Compensation for the loss in the quality or enjoyment of life
- Compensation for your physical and mental pain and suffering
The Time Limit for Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim in Connecticut
If you plan to file a medical malpractice claim for emergency room errors in Connecticut, you should be aware of the following time limits that could affect your case:
- The standard time limit – In most cases, the statute of limitations allows two years from the date when the ER malpractice occurred to file a lawsuit.
- The discovery rule exception – If there’s no way you could have reasonably been expected to know that you have grounds for a medical malpractice claim, Connecticut’s discovery rule allows you two years from the date when you learned of or reasonably should have learned of the malpractice, but no more than three years from the date of the act of malpractice.
- The statute of repose – This rule says the absolute deadline for medical malpractice years is three years from the date of the underlying incident, regardless of when the patient discovered the existence of malpractice.
How an Emergency Room Malpractice Attorney Can Help You
There are many benefits to hiring an emergency room malpractice attorney to support you through the process of claiming compensation. A lawyer can help you by:
- Explaining your legal rights and providing professional advice
- Managing important paperwork, documents, and deadlines on your behalf
- Calculating a full and fair value for your claim
- Communicating with others on your behalf so you avoid costly mistakes
- Consulting with expert witnesses who can establish medical malpractice
- Negotiating for the compensation you need during settlement talks
Get Help Today From a Connecticut ER Malpractice Lawyer
If you believe you are entitled to compensation due to ER malpractice in Connecticut, the experienced and knowledgeable attorneys of Wocl Leydon can help you determine the best course of action during a free initial case review. Contact us today to discuss your unique situation with a qualified malpractice lawyer.