Our Emergency Room Error Lawyers Help Win Compensation
When you go to an emergency room, you may be injured, sick, and worried, but you expect to receive prompt, competent medical treatment for the condition that brought you there. Unfortunately, hospital emergency rooms are typically understaffed and crowded, with doctors and nurses working under pressure, stressed out, exhausted, and forced to make quick decisions. Even worse, sometimes medical professionals are negligent and do not follow proper medical care standards. As a result, thousands of people experience serious injuries, preventable complications or loss of life each year because of emergency room errors and/or the lack of treatment they receive.
If you or a loved one has been injured or someone has died due to emergency room error, a medical malpractice lawyer may be able file a medical malpractice or wrongful death claim against the negligent healthcare provider, including the hospital, doctor, nurse, surgeon, and other support staff involved. Possible compensation and benefits you may be entitled to could include pain and suffering compensation, lost wages compensation, and current and future medical benefits. A successful medical malpractice case can not only bring financial compensation, but can help prevent similar errors from harming other patients in the future.
However, Pennsylvania laws regarding medical malpractice are complicated, and insurance companies have high-powered lawyers on their side fighting to deny claims or get you to settle for the lowest amount possible. To increase the chances of getting fair compensation, you should have an attorney experienced in emergency room errors on your side to fight for justice and the settlement you deserve.
The emergency room error medical malpractice attorney Clifford Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Dohrmann, Mowrey, Humphrey & Waters, has spent decades honing his skills and successfully representing Pennsylvania families who have suffered an injury or loss due to improper or negligent emergency room care. Our deep sense of loyalty to each client drives us to pursue each claim vigorously and make sure you get the maximum compensation you deserve.
How Our Emergency Room Error Attorney Can Help You
Why Choose Us?
Medical malpractice cases involving emergency room errors are complex, involving extensive knowledge of medicine, healthcare, and Pennsylvania law. There are many attorneys out there, and it is important to find one you not only feel comfortable with but who has the experience and track record necessary to go up against medical professionals, institutions, corporations, and their insurance companies. Here are some reasons why we feel working with our Rieders Travis emergency room malpractice attorney is your best choice:
- Medical malpractice lawyer Clifford A. Rieders has spent decades successfully representing Pennsylvania families who have been harmed by medical negligence. You can read their testimonials here. An example is the one from Tom, who received a large settlement after his wife died after she was erroneously released from a hospital after an emergency situation with atrial fibrillation.
- We have won millions of dollars for our clients, including a $4.25 million medical malpractice case for failed pediatric intubation and a 7-figure settlement for brain injury resulting from a spine surgery.
- Attorney Cliff Rieders wrote a leading textbook on medical and hospital malpractice, used in Pennsylvania by lawyers who work in the field. He authored legislation related to the Patient Safety Authority and the Mcare Act, which governs medical and hospital liability actions in Pennsylvania.
- With a group of close to 30 professionals, including attorneys, paralegals and office staff, we offer strength in numbers while providing top-notch personal service to our clients.
- We offer free consultations to discuss the circumstances of your case and show you how we can help.
What Constitutes Emergency Room Medical Malpractice?
Our Emergency Room Error Attorneys Know the Laws and the System
According to Pennsylvania law, medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare professional commits medical negligence by violating the generally accepted standard of care used by other medical professionals in the same field. The medical negligence must be a factual cause resulting in the patient’s injuries.
Pennsylvania has an Mcare Act which states very specific rules about who may be an expert in a medical practice case and what sort of testimony is necessary in order to constitute legitimate medical testimony. Pennsylvania also has a Certificate of Merit rule in its Rules of Civil Procedure. Cliff Rieders was instrumental in the creation of this legislation. Rieders was President of the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association, now Pennsylvania Association for Justice, when the Mcare Act was negotiated and passed. Rieders also had a hand in terms of the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure which govern medical malpractice. Currently, Cliff Rieders is a member of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Standard Jury Instruction Committee.
Emergency rooms and their staff must act reasonably and uphold proper standards of care for their patients, including maintenance of safe and adequate facilities and equipment and having adequate rules and policies to ensure quality care for patients. However, not every unfortunate event that happens in an emergency room rises to the level of negligence, and an emergency room is not responsible for every medical complication, injury or death suffered by its patients.
Liability depends mostly upon whether the emergency room and its staff acted reasonably with respect to the medical services provided and whether it knew or should have known about the defects or procedures that were a substantial factor in bringing about the harm.
There has been a push in Pennsylvania to give emergency room personnel a kind of immunity whereby there would be a higher standard to pursue a case against emergency care personnel than others in the medical field. This is totally unfair. Law today requires emergency room employees and those who work in emergency rooms to conform with the conduct of other reasonable people in the same field, working emergency rooms. Why should there be a special break for emergency room employees?
Damage Awards Our Emergency Room Attorney in Pennsylvania May Recover
In a successful case, our emergency room error lawyers may win compensation that covers the damages you received. In Pennsylvania, compensated costs and losses for medical malpractice victims fall into two categories: economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are expenses which can be objectively calculated, such as:
- medical and hospital, therapy, and rehabilitation costs
- costs of equipment, such as wheelchairs, and modifications to a home or vehicle
- lost income and future earnings
- funeral and burial costs if a death is involved.
Non-economic damages are for losses that do not have a specific monetary value, but negatively impact your life, and may include:
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering
- Loss of a marital relationship (consortium).
In Pennsylvania, there is no cap on compensatory damages, so our emergency room error attorneys will fight to help you fully recover any losses you received as a result of medical negligence.
Our Emergency Room Error Lawyer Builds Your Case
To win your case our attorneys would have to prove that the emergency room errors that caused your damages were due to negligence. Proving negligence legally means showing the existence of the following elements:
- The emergency room and its staff had a duty of care to adhere to a standard of care and not cause you harm.
- They breached that duty by acting negligently and violating the standard of care.
- This failure of duty caused your injuries or a death.
- You suffered damages as a result.
Our emergency room error attorneys must, in part, identify the actions or inactions deemed negligent and there must be actual damages, or expenses, that resulted from the injuries. Not all medical injuries result from malpractice. To prove negligence, an injury or condition must have been preventable. To prove damages, the harms and losses suffered must have resulted directly from the medical error in question.
When you have us on your side, our attorneys will get to work immediately to prove emergency room medical negligence. We will:
- Investigate your case thoroughly and gather evidence by obtaining medical records, photographs and videos
- Interview ambulance and medical personnel and eyewitnesses
- Identify all parties and healthcare professionals responsible for the error
- Work with expert witnesses and other medical professionals who can corroborate a medical error and the resulting damages and experts to testify on your behalf as to your injuries, how they affect your life, and the costs and pain and suffering involved
- Negotiate with insurance companies and opposition attorneys for a fair settlement
- Build your case and take it to court if necessary.
Our legal team has the resources to conduct investigations, hire and work with experts, and establish the proof of medical negligence necessary to win your case.
Our Medical Malpractice Attorneys Know Causes of Emergency Room Errors
While not everything that goes wrong medically falls into the category of malpractice, many medical errors that occur in emergency rooms are preventable and do not meet the standard of care. If harm to a patient stems from negligence or lack of due care, the healthcare provider can be held accountable in a malpractice case. Hospitals can be liable for corporate negligence, meaning for their own lack of due care, as well as, in some cases, vicarious liability for the negligence of others. Cliff Rieders wrote the book on medical malpractice in Pennsylvania which virtually every lawyer and judge uses in the state.
According to a study by The Doctors Company, a medical malpractice insurance provider, most claims for emergency room negligence fall into four categories:
- Diagnosis errors, including delays in diagnosis and misdiagnoses, caused about 57 percent of the claims.
- Treatment management failures: Errors made during the treatment process caused 13 percent of the claims.
- Wrong treatments that were inappropriate for the patient’s condition caused 5 percent of claims.
- Medication failures: Failing to order necessary medication caused 3 percent of claims.
The study also found that the majority (52 percent) of errors were brought on, at least partially, by patient-assessment mistakes, such as failing to order tests. Bear in mind that this study is from an insurance company. Many lawyers are not sufficiently trained, knowledgeable or experienced to bring the right and proper claims, and you should get an attorney who not only has experience but has also taught medical malpractice to other lawyers and is Board Certified, such as Cliff Rieders.
Other common causes of preventable emergency room errors include:
- Delayed diagnosis or incorrect diagnosis, often of heart attack, stroke, infection, or meningitis
- Patients having to wait so long that they do not receive treatment in a timely manner
- Failure to recognize a serious problem and get a patient to a specialist
- Errors involving radiology, CT scans, X-rays or other imaging
- Failure to adhere to safety procedures, spend enough time with or properly follow up on patients
- Mistakes with medication — wrong medication or wrong dose
- Lack of equipment or resources
- Lack of staff or inexperienced and ill-trained staff
- Overcrowding or shortage of hospital beds
- Lack of patient supervision
- Surgical errors
- Laboratory errors
- Patient dumping — transferring or releasing a patient because of a lack of insurance or other financial reasons
- Poor communication among healthcare providers or between the patient and provider.
Our Emergency Error Attorneys Know Pennsylvania Laws
Pennsylvania has several laws relevant to medical malpractice cases.
Time limits – Be aware that there is a statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases. In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations is generally two (2) years from the date the cause of action accrues. Pennsylvania does have a discovery rule, sometimes called the tolling rule, where the statute of limitations begins to run when a person knew of or, in the exercise of reasonable diligence, should have known of the relationship between the medical care and the harm. Pennsylvania also has a statute of repose, which is seven (7) years. There is a Minor’s Tolling Act in Pennsylvania. A minor does not have to start an action prior to the age of 20.
Wrongful death – The law in Pennsylvania is still not absolutely clear in a death case. When a case involves death, both a wrongful death and survival action can be brought. The wrongful death action must be brought within two (2) years of the date of death. However, the survival action may have to be brought within two (2) years of when the cause of action accrued, which could even be before death.
Because of the statute of limitations and the fact that signs of medical malpractice do not always occur right away, injured parties should get advice from a Pennsylvania medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible after injury occurs.
Call Our Williamsport Emergency Room Errors Attorney for Help
Medical malpractice law is highly regulated by a complex body of rules and laws, but no matter where you are in Pennsylvania, if you or a family member has experienced harm or wrongful death due to an emergency room error, our attorneys can provide the answers you need.
Whether in settlement negotiations or pursuing a favorable trial verdict, our experienced Pennsylvania medical malpractice attorney at Rieders, Travis, Dohrmann, Mowrey, Humphrey & Waters is familiar with the law and thoroughly prepared and committed to achieving a just outcome. With our sizeable staff, we offer strength in numbers while providing top-notch personal service. We have successfully represented many people in cases related to improper or negligent emergency room care. We understand what you are going through and are here to help.