Chicago Emergency Room Error Attorneys
While emergency rooms are designed for specific emergency care that requires immediate medical attention, ERs have been increasingly overloaded with patients who have nowhere else to turn for medical assistance.
Although most Chicago emergency room doctors and medical staff do their utmost to care for all their patients conscientiously, patients can be overlooked or rushed through medical treatment due to high volumes of injured and sick people passing through their doors.
All patients seeking care for a medical condition deserve a proper diagnosis and treatment regardless of the reason. When this does not happen, and a patient suffers serious injuries or dies, there may be a case for a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Hiring a Chicago Emergency Room Error Attorneys
The experienced Chicago medical malpractice attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC are committed to protecting your legal rights. Complete our personal injury attorney online case intake form to schedule a free initial consultation.
Our personal injury law firm currently represents clients throughout Illinois, including in Cook County, DuPage County, Will County, Lake County, Kane County, Arlington Heights, and Schaumburg.
Emergency Room Error FAQs
Can You sue the Emergency Room for Medical Errors?
If you have been injured, harmed, or suffering damages, you likely have the legal right to sue the hospital and the emergency room medical team that handled your case.
In some situations, the medical doctor is not an employee of the hospital. In these cases, you can also file a separate medical malpractice claim or lawsuit against the doctor who was in charge of your care.
How do Hospitals Cover up Mistakes?
While it is not ethical, the hospital's medical staff can selectively forget to document pertinent information in your medical records to eliminate any evidence that something went wrong.
Can You sue a Hospital for Lying?
You can file a civil lawsuit if you, or your attorney, have evidence that the medical staff or administration at the hospital/emergency-room lied to you while you were under their care.
In some situations, the nursing staff or medical team might have failed to obtain your "informed consent" before performing a procedure or administering medications. These incidents could be considered medical negligence and be the legal foundation for a civil lawsuit involving battery.
What are the Odds of Winning a Medical Malpractice Suit Against an E.R. Doctor or Nurse?
Statistics reveal that patients filing a medical malpractice case against a doctor have a 20% chance of winning a case with weak evidence and a 30% chance of winning a case with unexceptional evidence.
Injured plaintiffs litigating their case in front of a judge and jury have a 50% chance of winning the case due to concrete, factual evidence.
Is Malpractice Hard to Prove Against an Emergency Room?
If you file the medical malpractice lawsuit against a doctor, hospital, or emergency room, you have the burden of proof of showing their negligence.
Winning these types of cases can be challenging. Because of that, it is recommended to seek out a personal injury attorney who specializes in medical malpractice cases.
What is the Difference Between Medical Malpractice and Medical Negligence?
In civil court, medical malpractice is defined as an action that the medical professional took knowing that they failed to follow proper standards of care. Alternatively, medical negligence involves errors and mistakes that led to a patient being unintentionally harmed.
Overcrowding in ERs Resulting Patients not Getting the Care They Need
The Center for Disease Controls reports that emergency room visits have increased by 32%, from 102.8 million visits to 136.1 million visits in the United States in the first decade of the new millennium. This increased demand for urgent care likely affected how patients waited for care in the waiting room.
During this time, longer wait times for medical care increased by 25% in emergency rooms, that likely altered case results. The effect of overcrowding and extended wait times in ERs has also increased inpatient mortality rates.
The intense pressure placed on medical professionals in ERs likely led to surgical errors, misreading test results, anesthesia errors, emergency room mistakes, and medication errors.
A study published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine showed a 5% increase in the probability of death for patients visiting an emergency room on high volume days. Also, hospital stays were longer for those patients with an overall cost of $17 million attributed to overcrowded ER visits of less than 1 million visits studied.
Medical Professionals Providing Less Care Than Critically ill Patients Require
Patients receiving less care when visiting emergency rooms is a significant concern. The patient might not receive the medical treatment they need promptly, which likely has a significant correlation with their time for healing.
Some hospitals do not have enough medical professionals to handle the high volumes of patients in the facility seeking emergent care. The lack of sufficient staff can result in emergency room errors.
Common Chicago medical malpractice claims that can occur in an ER can be caused by:
- Misdiagnosis. Overworked, tired, and busy emergency room physicians might not have time to diagnose an ailment correctly. A patient might not receive the treatment they need and might even be released after not receiving the treatment they need.
- Delayed treatment. A patient's health might decline in the ER while waiting for medical assistance, causing additional harm, or even death. The delayed treatment might be the result of delays with time-sensitive information from diagnostic tests conducted inside and outside the hospital.
- Inaccurate tests or medications. Rushed procedures and ordering tests or medications might lead to ordering the wrong test or medicine.
- The protocol was not followed. In some cases, a healthcare provider (nurse or a doctor's assistant) might perform duties that they are not qualified to handle. His or her lack of training might lead to life-threatening mistakes.
Hospital-acquired injuries or wrongful deaths occurring in the emergency room are not excusable because the staff is overwhelmed. The family of the injured or deceased patient might have grounds to file a Chicago medical malpractice suit if they can prove that the hospital and medical team's negligence directly or indirectly caused the victim harm.
Sample Illinois Medical Malpractice Lawsuits, Jury Verdict Awards & Settlements Involving Errors Made in Emergency Rooms
$4,250,000 Settlement; Emergency Room Malpractice; Cook County, Illinois
The controversy in this medical malpractice suit involved a young boy. One night in October, a two-year-old boy was running a fever, coughing, and showing other signs of sickness. His parents took him to a Chicago emergency room on the south side.
The on-call doctors diagnosed the young patient with croup and sent him home once his breathing stabilized. However, his problems returned just hours later. His parents once again brought him back to the emergency room, where he died just a few hours later.
The boy's parents hired an attorney who brought a lawsuit against the hospital and other health care providers. The lawyers alleged that the defendants negligently assessed and cared for the plaintiffs' child and breached the standard of care when they delayed providing medical care.
The lawsuit sought compensation for their loss due to this wrongful death. The hospital did not publicly contest the matter. A private settlement was reached for the wrongful death lawsuit for $4.25 million.
$5,500,000 Settlement; Emergency Room Errors; Kankakee County, Illinois
A thirty-year-old woman delivered her newborn at the end of September 2013. Within a few weeks, she began to experience chest pains and body aches all over and in her back.
Doctors and nurses quickly looked her over when she arrived at the emergency room, thinking that she might have had an embolism or cardiac problems. The medical professionals urgently checked her for serious medical problems but never diagnosed any aortic problem.
The woman died of a hemothorax not long after the medical error. Her aorta had been lacerated, and the emergency room staff did not even catch that in their haste.
Her estate attorneys sued the healthcare professionals and the facility itself, alleging their medical treatment fell below the accepted standard of care in the State of Illinois. The law office representing the woman's estate agreed to accept a negotiated $5.5 million settlement.
$2,250,000 Settlement; Emergency Room Doctor Malpractice Lawsuit; Cook County, Illinois
The parents of a one-week-old rushed their child to the emergency room because the boy would not eat. Doctors identified signs of fatigue, fever, and other problems.
The doctor's ordered the child to stay in the care of the emergency room staff for almost two days before diagnosing that he had Herpes Simplex Virus with Acyclovir. The delayed diagnosis and lack of proper medical attention had fatal consequences.
He died roughly one week later. His parents believe their child would still be alive today had the ER staff acted promptly and appropriately.
The family sued the providers and facility for wrongful death. The lawsuit alleged that the defendants' negligence was the sole and proximate cause of their baby's death.
The defendants did not litigate the matter in open court and instead chose to settle and end the dispute. The family received $2.25 million from the defendant's insurance company.
$6,350,000 Settlement; Emergency Room Malpractice; Cook County, Illinois
A seventy-two man fell down a flight of stairs outside his apartment. Paramedics picked him up and delivered him to the emergency room. However, they did not board or collar him to keep his head, back, and neck stabilized.
The hospital staff intubated the patient and put him on sedatives. Yet, they did not collar him either until many hours later.
Doctors performed spinal surgery, but he still became paralyzed. He sued the emergency room and the paramedics that delivered him to the hospital. The victim complained that he would not suffer from quadriplegia had either party secured his neck sooner.
Both parties denied this contention but did not present evidence from medical experts dismissing the allegation. The defendants negotiated an acceptable out of court settlement, where the man received $6.35 million. The city paramedics' insurance company paid $350,000 of the total settlement.
Award-Winning Chicago Medical Malpractice Lawyers Handling Illinois Emergency Room Error Lawsuits
If your family member is a victim of medical malpractice in an Illinois emergency room, you have the right to pursue a medical malpractice case. Our medical negligence law firm has experience in medical malpractice and has successfully resolved hundreds of cases.
The attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC are considered experts in Illinois medical malpractice cases. Contact us at (888) 424-5757 to discuss your Chicago emergency room malpractice case with us during a free consultation. All discussions you have with our Chicago medical malpractice attorneys will remain confidential through an attorney-client relationship.