Emergency Room Malpractice

Medical Negligence Attorneys Representing Patients in Syracuse and Beyond

Emergency room professionals have a challenging job. They need to quickly and accurately evaluate patients, and then treat them over a brief time period. Given the stress and time pressures that they are facing, it is no surprise that mistakes are made in the emergency room. However, all ER doctors and nurses owe a professional duty of care to people who come to them for treatment. If you have suffered from emergency room malpractice, you should consult a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer at DeFrancisco & Falgiatano for advice on your options.

Common Forms of Emergency Room Malpractice

The emergency room (ER) is where many people and their families seek medical care. ER doctors and nurses owe a professional duty of care to each patient who enters the doors of the emergency room. When an ER staff member fails to meet the professional duty of care, the result may be life-altering injuries or death.

Malpractice can occur as a result of a failure to perform triage, a misdiagnosis, medication errors, or surgical errors, among other things. Sometimes, in their haste to address one patient's problem, the nurse or other staff may fail to prioritize which patient should be treated first. This is a failure to perform triage. In other situations, a nurse or doctor may misdiagnose a patient. Sometimes people with life-threatening conditions, such as a blood clot, stroke, pulmonary embolism, or heart attack, are examined and misdiagnosed by doctors. The doctor may provide an incorrect medication or may simply tell a patient to go home.

Sometimes an emergency surgery is needed. A surgeon may make an error during the emergency surgery. They may not follow the appropriate steps. Other errors can include a failure to make sure that there are enough doctors and staff members on every shift, inadequate training, a failure to screen doctors and other medical staff, inadequate equipment, unsanitary conditions, inadequate procedures for tracking patients, improper record-keeping, inadequate procedures for medication administration, and a failure to stabilize a sick or injured patient. When an ER discriminates against people who do not have insurance or cannot prove their ability to pay for treatment, this may be patient dumping, a type of medical malpractice.

If you suffer an injury, an illness, or a worsening of a condition because of emergency room malpractice, you may have a basis to sue the ER and its staff. You will need to be able to show that the staff or doctors acted negligently. The issue will be whether the staff or doctors acted with the same degree of care as other medical professionals in emergency rooms would have. You will need to show that the defendant owed a professional duty of care and breached it. A breach of the professional duty of care can occur in many ways, including a discharge after a misdiagnosis, a failure to admit a patient who critically needed care, a failure to order the appropriate tests, or a misinterpretation of test or imaging results.

Your injury lawyer may be able to hold the health care provider who breached the professional duty of care liable for emergency room malpractice. You may also be able to hold the hospital liable. Under the doctrine of apparent authority, a hospital can be held liable for the negligence of its doctors, even when the doctors are not employees of the hospital. Generally, patients do not know that doctors in an ER are independent contractors, rather than employees. Accordingly, the hospital that runs the ER may be responsible for ER doctors who appear to be employed by the hospital.

Damages that you may be able to recover if you are able to establish liability include economic and noneconomic losses, such as medical bills, loss of earnings, lost earning capacity, pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of consortium, and loss of enjoyment.

Get Assistance from a Syracuse Attorney for Your Malpractice Case

If you have been injured because of emergency room malpractice, our attorneys may be able to help you recover damages from the responsible parties. DeFrancisco & Falgiatano represents patients in Syracuse, Rochester, Lyons, Ithaca, Cooperstown, Oswego, Canandaigua, Utica, Wampsville, Oneida, Lowville, Watertown, Herkimer, Delhi, Cortland, Norwich, Elmira, Auburn, and Binghamton. Call us at 315-479-9000 or contact us via our online form.

Client Reviews
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"We were very impressed with how Jeff DeFrancisco represented us at trial and we were extremely happy when the jury found in our favor." D.M., Auburn, NY
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"I cannot express in words what an awesome job Charlie Falgiatano and Jean Marie Westlake did in representing my family in my mother's case at trial. There can never be enough thank-yous." D.L., Cortland, NY
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"I suffered a serious injury as a result of medical malpractice. My husband and I retained Jeff DeFrancisco to assist us in this case. We were extremely happy with his representation and highly recommend him." Kelley R., Syracuse, NY
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Since the insurance company was unwilling to settle the matter my case ultimately went to trial. At trial Jeff DeFrancisco did an absolutely amazing job by obtaining a very favorable result for me." T.H., Oneida, NY
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"I highly recommend DeFrancisco & Falgiatano - Charlie represented me for a medical malpractice case. He is the best of the best. He is friendly and I am very happy with the representation he provided." Roger N., Oneida, NY