Many people become victims of medical malpractice without actually realizing they have a case they could win in court. Accident attorneys as well as statistics will show you, however, that most medical malpractice cases occur in emergency situations. But before you jump to any conclusions and run directly to court to sue a medical practitioner, take some time to consider a few special circumstances.
1) Special rules apply in emergency room situations
The first thing you need to know is that, in most US states, first responders to an incident, auto accident or dramatic incident, are protected from lawsuits. No such rules apply to medical personnel in emergency rooms, however. Yet, expectations to avoid mistakes are lowered, when a situation is qualified as emergency, and this is mainly due to the fact that the medical team has to act fast and take important decisions in a matter of minutes.
To return to the legal protection that first responders get, we should define who these professional categories are: emergency medical teams on an ambulance, firefighters and other responding technicians.
There are however situations where first responders can be liable: if they do something that is blatantly negligent or even intentional, they can be sued for malpractice. The result, in most cases is these people can be made financially and legally responsible for damages.
2) ER personnel can be liable for a medical malpractice charge
In the case of a patient who has been injured by a medical practitioner, doctor or nurse, in an emergency situation, if there is proof of reckless behavior. As in most malpractice cases, however, the patient has to prove that the effect of the negligence could have been avoided and, other medical doctors or nurses couldn’t have done the same mistake. The key in all this is “under the same circumstances,” in other words you have to prove that different medical practitioners would have acted differently to your medical situation. In this case, as your specialized accidents attorney will tell you, an expert will have to testify for that in court.
3) Hospitals can be sued for medical malpractice
The medical unit can usually be considered liable if emergency room staff have committed a medical malpractice mistake. There are however some situations where a medical doctor is not the actual employee of that hospital, and in that case, the medical institution is not liable. This however applies only in non-emergency situations. In an emergency room situation, though, this is no longer a valuable argument because the patient did not choose a specific doctor to go to, they went to the ER for specialized treatment. As a result, hospitals are usually on the hook if a medical malpractice is being built, following an ER case.