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Wrongful Death Arising From Emergency Room Malpractice

Syracuse Lawyers for Victims of Medical Negligence

When a patient goes to the emergency room, he or she trusts the doctors and staff responding to emergencies to provide appropriate medical care. Unfortunately mistakes sometimes occur, and the consequences can be disastrous not only for the individual patient, but also for his or her family. Some common errors made in emergency rooms include failures to diagnose heart problems, failure to order medical tests, failure to recognize a life threatening event like appendicitis, failure to recognize stroke, and premature discharge. If your loved one was killed as a result of wrongful death arising from emergency room malpractice, you may be able to recover damages. The Syracuse wrongful death attorneys at DeFrancisco & Falgiatano can review your case to determine what your legal options may be.

Wrongful Death Arising From Emergency Room Malpractice

Emergency rooms can be very busy places. If you were injured, and it was a result of an ER mistake, you may be able to sue for damages. The hospital can be held liable for employee negligence in the emergency room. To prevail in a wrongful death claim in this setting, you will generally need to show that the medical staff didn’t act using the accepted standards and practices of the medical community and a loved one died as a result. If, for example, the ER staff didn’t admit your wife when she was in need of critical care, there may have been emergency room malpractice. If medical staff didn’t order appropriate tests to get a diagnosis and a death resulted, there may be emergency room malpractice. Similarly, if inappropriate triage was conducted and as a result your loved one was not treated quickly enough and died, there may have been emergency room malpractice.

Special issues can arise in the context of care provided in an emergency room. A hospital that retains a doctor on staff as an employee can be vicariously liable for a doctor’s medical malpractice under an agency theory. However, the hospital may not be liable for a doctor in the ER who wasn’t employed by the hospital. There’s an exception when the hospital has apparent authority over the doctor. Each situation is different and it’s advisable to consult and retain an experienced malpractice attorney if a loved one died in the ER as the result of medically negligent conduct.

Proving Wrongful Death

Personal representatives of the decedent’s estate can file a wrongful death lawsuit for damages. In addition to showing the emergency room’s liability as a personal representative in a wrongful death suit, you’ll need to establish: (1) a death, (2) caused by the defendant’s wrongful conduct, (3) resulting in a cause of action the decedent could have filed had he or she lived, and (4) one or more people survived the decedent and suffer losses because of the death and damages that are recoverable. In New York, wrongful death claims can’t be brought when a fetus dies before birth, even if it’s the result of emergency room malpractice.

The purpose of a wrongful death claim is to pursue damages that are meant to compensate the decedent’s devisees, beneficiaries, and heirs, not only to compensate the estate. A personal representative who recovers wrongful death damages from emergency room malpractice holds the damages on behalf of the survivors who are entitled to the damages at issue.

The specific damages available in a wrongful death lawsuit depend on what the particular losses were, but can include losses such as funeral and burial expenses, the decedent’s medical bills based on final injury or illness, wages, parental guidance and nurturing, lost value of services, and value of support and services.

Consult an Experienced Wrongful Death Attorney in Syracuse

If you have lost a loved one due to wrongful death arising from emergency room medical malpractice in Syracuse, an experienced injury and medical malpractice lawyer at DeFrancisco & Falgiatano can evaluate your potential case. We handle lawsuits in Syracuse, Rochester, and throughout Upstate New York, including in communities such as Canandaigua, Binghamton, Ithaca, Cooperstown, Lyons, Elmira, Auburn, Wampsville, Herkimer, Oneida, Oswego, Utica, Watertown, and Lowville. Please 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
★★★★★
"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
★★★★★
"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
★★★★★
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
★★★★★
"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