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Medical Malpractice

Malpractice in the ER: Know Your Rights

September 15, 2023

Emergency rooms provide critical care at a time when mere moments can make the difference between life and death. They are high-stress, high-pressure, and sometimes chaotic environments where medical professionals rely upon their training and experience to make important decisions about a patient’s condition and treatment. Unfortunately, even the best medical professionals can make mistakes that can result in long-term health problems and sometimes even death. If you have suffered injury or harm as a result of being treated in a Montana or Wyoming emergency room, reach out to an experienced hospital negligence lawyer to discuss your rights and your options. 

The Standard of Care in Emergency Room Cases

In order to successfully pursue a medical malpractice claim, you must be able to prove more than simple negligence – you must be able to prove that the treatment you received deviated from the commonly accepted standard of care. This is more challenging than you might expect, particularly in emergency room scenarios. 

In a medical malpractice case, the standard of care consists of comparing the treatment you received against what would be considered adequate medical treatment as would be performed in the same or similar circumstances by a medical professional with the same education, experience, and training. The standard of care will also take into account the nature and severity of the patient’s injury or illness. A lower standard of care arguably applies in cases that are urgent as compared to those that are less urgent. 

In the context of an emergency room case, ER doctors and nurses may not have the opportunity to access your medical records, conduct tests, or even perform a thorough examination. If you are unresponsive and your condition is life-threatening, they may have to make instantaneous decisions with limited information. As a result, any mistakes that are made in the emergency room do not always qualify as medical malpractice if an ER medical provider with the same training and experience would have done the same thing in the same situation. 

The standard of care is determined on a case-by-case basis and requires both knowledge of the law and considerable experience. A knowledgeable hospital negligence lawyer can identify the standard of care applicable to your case and determine whether you may have a malpractice claim. 

You Have a Right to Quality Care in the Emergency Room

While ER cases may be subject to a less stringent standard of care, the bottom line is that you are still entitled to competent medical care. Just because you were treated in the emergency room, that doesn’t mean that the hospital is relieved of its duty to take reasonable care. Here are some of the most common emergency room errors that can give rise to medical malpractice claims: 

  • Misdiagnosis 
  • Medication errors
  • Surgical errors
  • Misinterpreting test results or failing to order the appropriate tests
  • Ignoring symptoms
  • Delaying treatment

Do not assume that you do not have a medical malpractice claim just because you received treatment at the ER or an urgent care facility. It is important to emphasize, however, that the facts surrounding the treatment you received will be critical. If you believe you have suffered harm as a result of receiving treatment at the ER, you should contact a hospital negligence lawyer as soon as possible. 

You May Have the Right to Compensation

If you have suffered harm as a result of medical malpractice in the emergency room, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for the following: 

  • Your medical expenses required to treat the harm you suffered in the ER
  • The income you lost as a result of the malpractice that you would not have lost if you had received the proper treatment
  • The pain and suffering you experienced as a result of the malpractice

The challenge in these cases is that you likely would have already experienced some losses as a result of the underlying injury or illness that brought you to the ER in the first place. An experienced hospital negligence lawyer will be able to separate out your losses arising from the malpractice and build a compelling case supporting your right to compensation. 

Have You Suffered Medical Malpractice in the ER? Contact Ragain & Clark Today

If you are a victim of ER medical malpractice, you have the right to consult with a hospital negligence lawyer who can help you get the compensation you deserve. With over 30 years of experience, the medical malpractice lawyers at Ragain & Clark know how to help malpractice victims get fair compensation for their claims. Contact us today at 307-388-6400 (Worland) or 406-651-8888 (Billings) to schedule a free consultation.


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