An injured patient will not be able to recover damages unless they establish negligence and liability in Albany ER malpractice cases. Negligence in a malpractice situation refers to the deviation from good and accepted medical standards of care. A seasoned ER malpractice attorney could provide more information.

Common Causes of ER Negligence

The most common cause of medical negligence in the emergency department is when a patient is seen by a mid-level provider instead of a physician who is Board-certified in medical emergency medicine. A mid-level provider is a physician’s assistant or nurse practitioner. They are perfectly acceptable to treat common complaints such as a sprained ankle or a cut, but they should not be providing care for more complex clinical presentations.

If a patient is complaining of acute onset of severe chest pain that is radiating to their back, their left arm, or their jaw, that is a classic presentation of a heart attack. That patient should be seen and treated by an emergency medicine physician, not a mid-level provider.

In addition, emergency rooms can sometimes be chaotic and it might lead to rushed results or other mistakes being made. Understaffing and a lack of proper training could also lead to hospital negligence and make them liable in an Albany ER malpractice claim.

Doctor Negligence Does Not Always Lead to a Claim

In some cases, the doctor might commit a clear deviation from good and accepted standards of care but result in no harm or injury to the patient. While that case has merit, there are no damages that were the consequence of the doctor’s malpractice.

In that instance, a lawyer might encourage the patient to file a complaint with the New York State Department of Health so that they can investigate and determine whether there was substandard medical care. In the absence of substantial harm or death, the damages that could be recovered for the patient are not substantial enough to warrant the cost of a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Evidence Needed to Prove Negligence

To prove negligence by a physician, a lawyer will always need a complete set of medical records, which they can get from the hospital or the healthcare provider. They would then send those records to a Board-certified doctor who could review them and consult back with the attorney to determine whether there was a deviation from the standards of care. The opinion of an expert is a critical component when determining liability in a local malpractice case.

Comparing the Outcome with the Standard of Care

When determining negligence, lawyers need to ask what the standard of care was, given the patient’s symptoms, and not necessarily ask if more could have been done. In the example of the acute onset chest pain, the standard of care would require a sequence of EKGs and blood work called Troponin. If the EKGs and blood work come back negative over a period of time, then the doctor can at least make the argument that they complied with the standard of care. However, in some cases, it might be said that the doctor should have done more by admitting the patient to the hospital and consulting with a cardiologist. That may not be what the standard of care requires, depending upon the presenting signs and symptoms by the patient.

Is Negligence More Prevalent in the ER?

Medical malpractice tends to occur more frequently in the emergency department than anywhere else. By definition, patients believe they have a serious injury or ailment which needs immediate treatment; as a result, the consequences are more likely to be severe and immediate. If someone enters the ER presenting with one side of their face or body being numb, that might be consistent with a stroke and require imaging tests. The standard of care in that instance is to do imaging studies of the brain, such as a CAT scan or an MRI, to rule out that the patient is having a stroke.

Determine Negligence and Liability in an Albany ER Malpractice Case with an Attorney

Call our office today to learn how we could help you out after you experienced a medical error. There are ways to properly determine a doctor’s negligence and potential liability in an Albany ER malpractice case.