Navigating Emergency Negligence

Based on this, being under-staffed or overworked is not an excuse for attending physicians, specialists, and nursing staff to provide substandard care or make bad decisions. On the contrary, considering the sensitive nature of their work, emergency room personnel have a heightened responsibility to make a timely diagnosis and provide appropriate treatment since the patient’s life hangs in the balance. 

The skilled and resourceful emergency room Miami medical malpractice team at The Alvarez Law Firm has years of experience in holding hospitals and emergency room medical care providers accountable for any negligence or malpractice that causes a patient’s injury or death.

The Importance of Differential Diagnosis in ERs

Emergency room facilities are very different from routine medical settings. An ER physician usually makes a differential diagnosis. This is a type of diagnostic technique that is based on the elimination method (ruling out certain medical conditions to establish an accurate diagnosis).To determine a differential diagnosis, the physician and their team will first compile a list of all potential conditions that may be the cause of the patient’s situation. They will then work down the list, eliminating certain medical scenarios that are unlikely in the case.

This helps in narrowing down the possible origin of the ailment. The physician may also need to perform certain types of diagnostic assessments and tests. Mistakes in differential diagnosis, delayed diagnosis, or failure to diagnose can have devastating consequences for a patient who is experiencing an emergency life-threatening condition. Sometimes a delay of minutes due to emergency room negligence or incompetence can prove to be catastrophic for the patient.

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Types of ER Malpractice in Florida

Nearly nine million people visit Florida emergency rooms each year. Unfortunately, many of these visits result in severe injuries due to misdiagnosis and medical malpractice. The constant interruptions and breakneck speed at which emergency room physicians need to function increase the risk of committing medical errors.

Misdiagnosis is by far the most common error resulting in medical malpractice claims in Florida. Other ER negligence lawsuits usually stem from the following mistakes:

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Injuries Resulting from Florida Emergency Room Malpractice

Emergency rooms in Florida are overcrowded, which means patients may not receive the proper priority their condition demands. Their health may deteriorate quickly as a result of not being admitted in a timely manner. 
It’s common for emergency rooms to have a 4-hour wait during peak hours. This has been known to extend to up to 8 hours at times. Further, test results may not be interpreted correctly, causing the emergency room to discharge an admitted patient too early. 

These are a few common injuries that occur from emergency room malpractice:

  • Stroke
  • Sepsis
  • Appendicitis
  • Heart disease
  • Heart attack
  • Meningitis
  • Compound or open fractures
  • Ruptured spleen
  • Brain injury
  • Internal hemorrhaging or bleeding
  • Spinal injury

ER doctors treat several patients during their shifts. Even though this is performed under stressful conditions, it doesn’t absolve them of the responsibility to ensure that every patient receives competent and proper medical care. 

Filing Emergency Room Malpractice Claims in Florida

Florida’s Good Samaritan Law protects emergency room medical care professionals from liability. As per the law and Florida Legislature 768.1345, a licensed professional cannot be sued for services provided during the period of declared emergency and for which no compensation is sought. This is only if the professional acted as any other reasonably prudent doctor with the same skills and expertise would have acted under similar circumstances.

There is an exception to the legislation. Patients are allowed to file a lawsuit against those doctors that act in reckless disregard or don’t adhere to the reasonable standard of care owed. The patient can bring a lawsuit only if the malpractice or negligence resulted in injuries and wrongful death. Depending on the circumstances, the jury may also award punitive damages to the plaintiff (patient).

This is for punishing and deterring serious acts of negligence and recklessness. You may be able to bring a medical malpractice lawsuit against nurses in the emergency room. The same malpractice laws apply to all healthcare professionals in the ER room. Based on this, you need to understand that nurses that work for government agencies cannot be sued directly, since they are immune from liability. 

Other nurses may have personal liability insurance or insurance through their employer (hospital or staffing company). You may be able to seek compensation for:

  • Medical expenses (including future expenses)
  • Rehabilitative treatment and therapy
  • Lost wages 
  • Inability to work
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
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Talk to a Skilled and Knowledgeable ER Miami Medical Malpractice Attorney Book Your Free Consultation Today

The competent and experienced Miami medical malpractice lawyers at The Alvarez Law Firm have obtained significant settlement amounts for patients injured due to ER negligence. We will invest every resource at our command to collect solid evidence and prepare for tough negotiations with the insurance company. 
Our emergency room malpractice team includes expert medical professionals that can corroborate gathered evidence and provide expert testimony to reinforce your claim. The fast-paced environment in an emergency room is not an excuse for sloppy work. Our seasoned attorneys can help you seek the compensation you deserve. 
Schedule your free and confidential consultation with us today. Call 877-445-7675 or write to us online.

Let’s talk about your case.

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