Emergency Room Mistakes
Emergency rooms can be chaotic places. Sometimes employees are overworked, and the facility is understaffed. If the physicians, nurses, or staff neglect their duty to provide medical care that is up to the accepted standards in Texas, and the patient suffers injuries as a result, it may be appropriate to file a medical malpractice lawsuit to seek compensation. Dallas lawyer Nick Feizy is familiar with these claims and can vigorously assert your rights.Holding a Health Care Provider Liable for an Emergency Room Mistake
There are many emergency room mistakes that may give rise to a medical malpractice lawsuit, including surgical errors, a delayed diagnosis, and a contaminated blood transfusion. Mistakes may be the result of miscommunication between doctors and nurses.
In Texas, a plaintiff alleging medical malpractice related to emergency medical care must show "willful and wanton" negligence under Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code section 74.153. This is a higher degree of responsibility for injuries than the ordinary negligence that must be proven in non-emergency room medical malpractice cases.
Specifically, a plaintiff will have to show by a preponderance of the evidence that the physician or health care provider, with willful and wanton negligence, deviated from the degree of skill and care expected of a reasonably prudent health care provider in similar circumstances. Your attorney would need to retain a medical expert who can address the standard of care in an emergency room context and address whether the willful and wanton negligence was a cause of the injuries alleged.
Under Section 74.401 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code, an expert witness is qualified to opine on whether a physician departed from accepted medical standards only if:
- The expert is a physician who was practicing medicine at the time of the mistake or at the time of testimony;
- He or she knows the accepted standards of care for diagnosis, care, or treatment in the case; and
- He or she is qualified due to training or experience to offer an expert opinion about the standards.
The expert will have to submit a written report with specific opinions as to the standard of care, breach, and causation in the case within 120 days of the defendant filing its answer in the lawsuit.
In some cases, there is a dispute over whether emergency services were provided because of the higher standard of negligence that applies to mistakes in this context. In Texas, emergency medical care that requires this heightened degree of proof includes actions that are taken in a good faith effort to diagnose or treat a disease or injury that is provided after a sudden onset of acute, severe symptoms, when the absence of immediate medical attention would reasonably be expected to put the patient in jeopardy. It does not, however, include medical care or treatment occurring after a patient is stabilized and can receive medical treatment as a nonemergency patient.Enlist a Dallas Lawyer for Representation in Your Injury Claim
If you have been harmed by an emergency room mistake in the Dallas area, you should consult experienced injury attorney Nick Feizy to explore your options. Call Feizy Law Office at (214) 651-8686 or set up a free consultation via our online form. We also represent accident victims in Arlington, Irving, Fort Worth, Garland, and Plano, among other Texas cities.