Duty of Care Owed in Atlanta Emergency Rooms

Emergency room providers have a responsibility to help the patients that walk through their doors. If you were injured due to an emergency room error, you have the right to hold the at-fault parties responsible. Before filing a claim, it is important to understand the duty of care owed in Atlanta emergency rooms. Talk to an Atlanta emergency room errors lawyer today to learn how duty of care is relevant to your claim.

Duty of Care in Atlanta

Duty of care is the legal obligation that one has to adhere to a standard of reasonable care when doing anything that could cause harm to others.

When Does the Duty of Care Relationship in Medical Cases Start?

When the patient seeks medical care from a physician who agrees to provide treatment, duty of care has been established. In emergency departments, the relationship generally starts when a patient in clear need of urgent treatment walks in.

Duty of Care in Emergency Room Situations

All medical professionals have a duty of care to the patients they serve. However, there are certain exceptions for people working in emergency departments.

According to O.C.G.A. § 51-1-29.5, an emergency room provider cannot be held liable for damages unless he or she is proved by clear and convincing evidence to be grossly negligent. An experienced local attorney could help injured parties understand how gross negligence laws apply to their case.

Proving Breach of Duty in The E.R.

If medical providers act outside of the standard of reasonable care, they have breached their duty and can be held liable.

How Does Breach of Duty Differ Among Medical Staff?

Doctors, nurses, surgeons, medical lab technicians, and other healthcare workers all have different roles. Therefore, each medical professional has different standards of care.

For example, in most states, nurses cannot diagnose patients. Only doctors can provide diagnoses. These types of regulations are often brought to light through expert witness testimony.

What Evidence is Required to Prove Duty of Care was Breached?

In a medical malpractice case, victims must prove their injuries were directly caused by the medical provider’s error. If the injury was caused by something other than the doctor’s error, a skilled emergency room errors lawyer would have to have to find a way to link the two incidents.

For example, if an individual showing symptoms of blood clots died from a pulmonary embolism after emergency room providers failed to diagnose and treat him or her, an attorney must prove that the victim would still be alive if he or she was diagnosed properly.

In the State of Georgia, breach of duty can only be demonstrated through expert witness testimony. The expert must be qualified by virtue of having relevant and sufficient experience in the area of medicine the case pertains to.

What are Common Obstacles to Proving Breach of Duty?

In a trial, juries can be reluctant to hold healthcare providers responsible. This stems from people’s desire to hold medical professionals in a good light. A nearby lawyer could help victims determine other possible obstacles to proving breach of duty in Atlanta emergency rooms.

The Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act

The Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) is a federal law designed to prevent hospitals from transferring uninsured or Medicaid patients to public hospitals without providing some screening and making sure the patient is stable for a transfer. It is often referred to as an anti-dumping law.

This law prevents hospitals, private hospitals in particular, from transferring patients just because they cannot pay for care. If a victim was injured as a result of unjust transfer, a nearby emergency room errors lawyer could help them prove the hospital violated EMTALA.

Get an Atlanta Emergency Room Errors Attorney on Your Side

Duty of care can be difficult to understand, especially if you do not have any legal experience. The dedicated team of attorneys at Warshauer Woodward Atkins has the resources that could help you succeed in your case. Schedule a consultation today to learn about the duty of care owed in Atlanta emergency rooms and how an attorney could help your case.