If you have an injury or illness serious enough that you need to go to the emergency room, then your expectation is that the doctors and nurses there will help you. However, there are times when medical errors are made, and injuries occur. At Colucci, Colucci & Marcus, P.C., our Boston medical malpractice attorneys want to discuss whether or not you can file a lawsuit against the hospital if you sustain an injury.
What Mistakes Can Happen In The ER?
The emergency room can be an incredibly busy area of the hospital, and there are various ways that mistakes occur in the ER. Some of the most common causes of emergency room errors include:
- Understaffing: Many hospitals can leave their emergency departments understaffed, which can significantly affect the quality of care that every patient in the ER receives.
- Overcrowding: When the emergency department is overcrowded, this can place a significant strain on doctors and nurses. Unfortunately, medical errors are much more likely to occur when the ER is overcrowded.
- Overworked: Emergency room doctors and nurses are often overworked. This can include medical professionals working extremely long shifts or working many days in a row without time off. Overworked medical professionals will be more likely to make mistakes.
Can The Hospital Be Held Liable?
While it may be the case that an individual medical professional caused the medical error, that does not mean that they will be the only party liable for the incident. Concerning medical malpractice cases, hospitals can be held negligent either directly for their own negligence or through the concept of “vicarious” liability for the actions of a negligent employee.
A hospital could be held negligent in the event they fail to make reasonable inquiries about potential employees during the hiring process. This includes ensuring proper education, licensing, and training. Hospitals could also be held negligent if they fail to provide a sufficient number of nurses and other medical staff at all times to maintain quality patient care.
Hospitals could be held vicariously liable under the legal doctrine known as “respondeat superior.” This doctrine means that the employer could be held liable for the negligent actions of their employee, so long as the employee was acting within the scope of their employment duties when the negligence occurred.
Our Boston Medical Malpractice Lawyers Are Ready To Help
If you or somebody you love has sustained an injury due to the negligence of a medical professional in the emergency room, contact the team at Colucci, Colucci & Marcus, P.C. today. We have the resources necessary to conduct a thorough investigation into your claim in order to secure the compensation you need. This can include coverage for:
- All medical expenses related to medical negligence
- Lost wages and benefits if you cannot work
- Pain and suffering damages
- Loss of personal enjoyment images
- Possible punitive damages against a grossly negligent medical professional or hospital