A hospital emergency room can be a breeding ground for pandemonium and discord. Medical personnel rush around in an atmosphere of chaos making split second decisions for hours on end. Often, the hospital is understaffed and the personnel is overworked, resulting in emergency room errors that can seriously impact patients…even for a lifetime in some cases.
The busy, hectic environment in the ER can lead to diagnostic errors, improper performance procedures, and other significant mistakes that cause wreak havoc on the people being treated. Patients often leave the emergency room with the wrong medication for their condition, serious infections, or worse as a result of their visit. The Law Office of Joseph Onwuteaka, P.C., understands the devastation that can follow an emergency room error.
As a personal injury and medical malpractice lawyer with over 30 years of experience, Attorney Joseph Onwuteaka knows what it takes to stand up for the rights of victims that have fallen prey to medical negligence, failure to diagnose, surgical errors, emergency room errors and other mishaps involving negligent medical professionals.
Elements of an ER error lawsuit
States recognize that emergency care is different than non-emergency care and they take that into consideration with regards to the laws that govern it. Texas law requires the plaintiff in an ER error lawsuit to prove willful and wanton negligence by the facility or medical staff. This is a higher burden of proof than other medical malpractice cases. Additionally, it must be proven that the medical staff deviated from the reasonable level of care that would have been given by subsequent medical personnel under the same circumstances. Additionally, a medical expert would need to testify that the willful and wanton negligence directly caused the injuries. These types of cases have a tendency to get complicated so you need an attorney who can conduct an effective and thorough investigation. The Law Office of Joseph Onwuteaka, P.C. has the experience to deal with the elements that might slow down an ER error lawsuit. Sometimes it can be hard to gain access to a patient’s records, even with written consents. There may be an abbreviated record keeping process because of the frantic nature of the emergency room environment. There are many obstacles and hurdles that could stand in the way of a less experienced medical malpractice lawyer who has just a couple years of experience. The Law Office of Joseph Onwuteaka, P.C. has been winning ER error cases and pursuing justice for victims for more than three decades, so we know what it takes to secure compensation for patients who are involved in emergency room errors!
There are hundreds of different ER errors that can occur in the frenzied environment of an emergency room. Medical staff is often treating multiple patients while racing the clock to treat life threatening injuries. Here are some of the more common ER errors:
- Improper performance procedures;
- Misreading x-rays;
- Delayed treatment;
- Medication errors;
- Rushed evaluations; and
- Poor care and negligent work due to understaffing.
How long do I have to file suit?
ER errors are considered medical malpractice, although the burden of proof is a bit higher than the burden of proof in a typical case of medical malpractice . In most cases, charges must be filed within two years of the alleged error or injury. However, if the victim is younger than twelve years of age, then the parent or guardian has until the child’s 14th birthday to file charges. Please keep in mind that each case is different and is treated on an individual basis.
Who can file an ER error lawsuit?
Anyone who feels they have been seriously or further injured as a direct result of the negligence of emergency room staff can file an ER error lawsuit. If the injured party is a minor, then the parent or guardian must file charges on their behalf. If you feel that you may have been the victim of an emergency room error or another medical mistake, it is imperative that you seek out legal counsel as soon as possible.
What kind of damages can be recovered in an ER error lawsuit?
The type and amount of damages awarded will vary with the facts of each case. More severe injuries will demand more financial compensation. Here are some of the most common awards in ER error lawsuits:
- Past and future medical expenses;
- Pain and suffering;
- Lost wages;
- Loss of earning capacity;
- Mental anguish;
- Loss of consortium;
- Physical impairment;
- Loss of companionship; and
- Punitive damages.
The state of Texas does impose a cap on the amount of each type of damages that can be awarded with an ER error claim. An experienced attorney at the Law Office of Joseph Onwuteaka, P.C. can advise you of those caps depending on the type of damages involved with your case.
What about all of those consent forms I signed at the ER?
Medical consents to treat do not release medical personnel from liability. Signing these consents in order to be treated will not waive your right to hold the medical staff responsible in the case of an emergency room error. This includes doctors, surgeons, nurses, technicians, the hospital pharmacist and other health care workers who are involved in your care.
Will I have to go to court?
There is no universal answer to this question; it depends upon the unique circumstances in your case. In some cases, a victim may receive a fair and just amount of financial compensation for their damages via a settlement that’s reached out of court. Others are best served by proceeding to trial.
You don’t have to fight the battle alone
Dealing with a medical mistake lawsuit can be confusing and intimidating. Many times you are dealing with large medical facilities that have plenty of funding and time. It is important that you retain experienced, professional representation that will fight for your rights while keeping your best interest in mind.
At The Law Office of Joseph Onwuteaka, P.C., our law firm and our elite legal team is not afraid to stand up to these legal giants. We have been fighting for the rights of victims and winning ER error lawsuits for more than 30 years. Our office will handle your legal matters aggressively and get your case prioritized so that you can concentrate on healing yourself or your loved one. We will work hard to get you the compensation you deserve.
Contact an aggressive, experienced emergency room error attorney today
If you think that you or a loved one has been the victim of a serious emergency room error, contact the Law Office of Joseph Onwuteaka, P.C. today. We will take the time to preserve your rights and thoroughly investigate your case. Call (713) 271-5760 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation with a tenacious ER error attorney that has the fortitude to handle your case aggressively.
Our law firm also handles other cases. In addition to serving as a medical malpractice lawyer, Attorney Joseph Onwuteaka serves as a personal injury attorney and family law lawyer.
The Law Office of Joseph Onwuteaka, P.C., will fight for your rights to help you successfully navigate the litigation process and get you the financial compensation that you deserve. Our law firm represents clients in Houston, Texas, and the surrounding areas.