Negligence and Liability in Atlanta Emergency Room Error Cases

Emergency rooms are hectic, so it can be easy for medical staff to make mistakes. If these errors cause harm to patients, however, those health care providers can be held liable. If you were injured due to a medical provider’s negligence in the emergency room, consider discussing your case with a local emergency room error lawyer about your specific situation. Speak to an attorney to learn about negligence and liability in Atlanta emergency room error cases.

Negligence in Medical Malpractice Cases

Negligence is defined as failure to act as a responsible person would under the same or similar circumstances. It is often called the duty of an ordinary, reasonable person.

In a medical malpractice case, the victim must prove that the healthcare worker had a duty of care, breached that duty, and caused their injuries. Although, negligence is only actionable in medical malpractice cases if the act was a deviation from the standard of care.  The standard of care is the duty a medical provider has to exercise that degree of skill and care which under similar conditions and like surrounding circumstances if ordinarily employed by the medical profession generally.

Protections for Emergency Rooms, Hospitals, and First Responders

Fighting emergency room error cases can be tough because there are protections in place for ERs and first responders. According to OCGA § 51-1-29.5, emergency medical care providers have tort immunity. This means an injured party must prove gross negligence in Atlanta emergency room cases. Also, rather than the normal civil burden of proof of preponderance of the evidence, the injured party must prove her case by clear and convincing evidence.

Additionally, it can be hard to hold a hospital liable if the doctor who injured the victim is an independent contractor. Most other healthcare workers, such as nurses and patient techs, are hospital employees and can be considered negligent. A skilled emergency room errors attorney could help the injured claimant work around any protections the at-fault party may have.

Typical Reasons for Negligence in Emergency Rooms

The healthcare providers working in emergency rooms are often overworked because the department is understaffed. When workers are under that kind of pressure, it can be dangerous.

For example, an overwhelmed physician may not be very thorough in conducting physical exams. Seemingly small actions like this could keep a patient from getting proper treatment.

Emergency rooms might also be ill-equipped to provide certain treatments. If an ER lacks a specific type of technology, patients may not be able to get the care they need. A local lawyer can investigate the injured party’s accident to help prove negligence in the emergency room.

The Impact of Signing a Consent Form

In the emergency room, patients are often prompted to sign forms about the risks of certain procedures or treatments. If an injured party signed one of these forms, the defendant will most likely highlight that in court.

If a consent form was not presented to the injured party, there can be a separate cause of action for lack of informed consent. Although this may not apply if the patient was unconscious and unable to give consent. An attorney in the area could help the injured party understand how the presence of a consent form could affect their claim.

Common Types of Evidence Used to Prove Negligence

Many things can be considered evidence in an emergency room case. The injured party’s lawyer will need collect a testimony from the patient and family members who may have been witnesses to the treatment. Those same witnesses could also testify about the victim’s losses and their impact on the patient.

Documents, such as medical records, pictures, and videos can also be very useful when seeking to prove negligence. However, one of the most important types of evidence is expert witness testimony. Medical experts can educate the jury on the standard of care in the community.

A nearby lawyer could help a claimant gather evidence, and analyze it for signs of negligence.

Let an Emergency Room Errors Attorney Help Prove Negligence

The nuances of negligence and liability in an Atlanta emergency room error case can be difficult for the average person to understand. Hiring a medical malpractice attorney could improve your chances at a positive outcome in your case. Reach out to an emergency room error case lawyer for a free case review.