When you are brought to an emergency room, you will likely be very frightened and you'll want to be certain that you are in the right hands. Unfortunately, many hospitals and emergency rooms are overworked and understaffed. This can sometimes lead to injuries that result from negligence. However, you will need to be able to identify negligence when you see it.
Emergency Room Negligence
Those working in an emergency room are often given more of a margin for error when treating patients because they will often encounter situations that are more serious than what a doctor typically experiences. However, this doesn't mean that the emergency room cannot be held responsible for your injuries.
How to Avoid Liability
The hospital might argue that you are at fault for your own injuries. For example, the hospital might claim that you would have recovered more quickly if you had engaged in the follow-up care recommended by the hospital. For this reason, it's essential to speak with a personal injury attorney who will help gather the evidence necessary to prove that the hospital was at fault.
You will not want to speak with the hospital's lawyers when you are pursuing legal action. The hospital's lawyer will do everything possible to misconstrue any statements as an admission of guilt. Also, the hospital's lawyers will attempt to settle as quickly as possible and a personal injury attorney can usually award you a much larger settlement.
Any communications with an insurance company can backfire because an insurance company will usually record any conversations. Also, if you call the hospital and complain, any statements that you make can be used against you to have your claim denied.
Who to Take Legal Action Against
Personnel and independent contractors might be responsible for your injuries. However, the hospital will be held ultimately responsible for the actions of the personnel through vicarious liability or respondeat superior.
For example, if a nurse provides you with the wrong medication and you suffer adverse health effects, you may seek compensation for your injuries from the hospital itself. This is ideal because the hospital will likely have more resources to cover your damages.
Damages You Might Receive
You may be able to seek both economic damages, such as the damages that result from needing to receive further treatment for hospital-induced injuries, and non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering. With egregious conduct by the hospital, you may be entitled to punitive damages as well to punish the hospital.
Contact a personal injury attorney to learn more.