Successful medical treatment requires attention to detail and commitment to patient well-being. These two qualities are absent in many emergency rooms. This environment often leads to serious injuries, and these victims may be entitled to substantial compensation.
At Buchanan Firm, our Michigan emergency room error attorneys understand this environment better than many others, because our legal team includes medical professionals. These individuals also give us a unique perspective on emergency room injuries. Put another way, the nature of many hospital emergency rooms sets the stage for injury, but the environment at Buchanan Firm sets the stage for success.
Sometimes, ER mistakes happen before patients see doctors. Michigan has one of the longest ER average waiting times (six hours) in the country. Longer waiting times of up to nine or ten hours are not uncommon. The extended wait time is especially troublesome in head injury and other degenerative cases. By the time these patients see doctors, their conditions may be almost untreatable.
Legally, the hospital may be responsible for aggravated injuries in these cases. Essentially, victim/plaintiffs must establish that the wait time was excessive and that excessive wait time substantially caused their injuries.
Full compensation is usually available in injury aggravation cases. According to the eggshell skull rule, victim/plaintiffs must only show that the hospital’s negligence exacerbated an existing injury, instead of the other way around.
In other situations, doctors do not fully examine patients. On average, doctors only listen to patients describe their symptoms for about eleven seconds. Moreover, many doctors do not order a full battery of diagnostic tests. As a result, misdiagnosis is common.
These doctors are negligent if the level of care fell below the accepted standard. Given the high doctor-patient duty in medical malpractice cases, this showing is usually easy to make. Michigan medical malpractice lawyers can then focus on proving cause, which is where the medical professionals at Buchanan Firm often come into play.
Misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis are not the only types of ER mistakes. Other common ones include:
All these mistakes usually violate the duty of care. Medical professionals typically have a fiduciary duty to their patients. They must focus solely on patient welfare and set aside any other concerns, such as making money or getting home on time.
Most civil cases, including professional negligence cases, settle out of court. Sometimes, these cases settle quickly and on favorable terms. But generally, liability questions and other issues delay settlement.
As a result, many judges refer these cases to mediation. Generally, a third-party mediator, who is usually an unaffiliated medical malpractice lawyer, hears brief legal arguments from each side to evaluate their respective positions. Then, the mediator conveys settlement offers and counter-offers back and forth.
Assuming both parties negotiate in good faith, mediation is usually successful. “Good faith” usually means that both parties are willing to compromise to make a deal, and that both parties are entirely upfront with each other.
The environment at many emergency rooms leads to serious injuries. For a free consultation with an experienced emergency room error attorney in Michigan, contact Buchanan Firm. Our main office is conveniently located near the Ford Presidential Library.