We should be able to rely on emergency room doctors to differentiate the life-threatening issues from the relatively benign issues and make sure that what needs to be done gets done properly. Most people visit emergency rooms only for serious trauma and urgent injuries. The conditions of the patients in the ER vary widely. One patient may have severe abdominal pain while another is suffering from respiratory distress, another has a gunshot wound, and another has a raging case of the flu. This is why triage is so important. One patient may simply require stitches; another may need immediate surgery; another may require intravenous hydration. In the unpredictable, often chaotic, atmosphere of the ER, mistakes can occur. The question is: When do mistakes become medical malpractice? The answer is when emergency room negligence or incompetence cause the patient harm.
Have you been a victim of emergency room negligence?
If you or a loved one has been a victim of emergency room malpractice in Middle Tennessee, you should contact Cummings Law in Nashville for trustworthy legal counsel. As a matter of fact, our lead attorney, Brian Cummings is one of only a handful of Board-certified medical malpractice attorneys in Tennessee who represents patients and their families. He will fight vigorously for you to receive just compensation for what you or a family member suffered.
Brian Cummings is compassionate as well as knowledgeable and skilled. During a free consultation, he will be able to assess the facts of your unique matter and let you know whether you have a viable case for an emergency room negligence lawsuit. If we take your case, we fully intend to win it and you will not have to pay us anything until we obtain the compensation you deserve.
Everyone makes mistakes at times, including doctors, but doctors are generally held to a higher standard of care than the average person. There are a couple of reasons for this: doctors have extensive training in medical diagnosis and treatment and they have taken an oath not to do harm to their patients. They are expected to be well-prepared, knowledgeable, alert and attentive for what they are paid to do.
How Cummings Law Will Prove Your Case
In order to prove ER malpractice, it must be proven that  a doctor-patient relationship existed,  the emergency room treatment involved negligence/substandard care, and  the patient suffered harm as a result of this negligence. At Cummings Law, we have several successful strategies to prove you have been misdiagnosed or mistreated and that this misconduct caused you significant harm.
First, we establish that you had a doctor-patient relationship with the doctor which is generally a simple matter when properly handled. Once you have been examined by a physician, a legal doctor-patient relationship is considered to exist. In most cases, ER records are sufficient proof that this has occurred. Second, we have to prove that the doctor has breached the ER Standard of Care. This means that the doctor didn’t behave as a competent ER doctor would under similar circumstances. In order to prove this point, we will have an expert testify that the defendant is guilty of negligence and did not take the appropriate steps to provide you with the type of care and treatment you deserved.
Third, and most importantly, we have to demonstrate that the negligence caused an injury or bad outcome that would not otherwise have occurred. Cummings Law will accumulate medical evidence and use expert testimony to prove that the negligence caused an injury or bad outcome that otherwise would not have occurred.
Examples of emergency room negligence include:
- Making a patient in imminent danger wait too long to be examined
- Not diagnosing, and therefore not treating, cancer, an injury, or other condition that required prompt treatment and the delay made the situation worse or fatal
- Incorrectly diagnosing a patient with cancer or an injury that the did not actually have, thus leading the patient to undergo surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy they did not need
- Delaying a diagnostic test or an admission to the hospital, causing a patient’s health to dangerously deteriorate
- Failing to review a patient’s history, resulting in perilous drug reactions or interactions
- Failing to recognize symptoms of a life-threatening event like a heart attack or stroke
- Failing to diagnose an urgent condition that may lead to death, such as acute appendicitis
- Failing to give crucial information regarding follow-up care
Studies have shown the primary causes of injuries resulting from ER malpractice are due to errors in diagnosis, improper performance of a procedure, and delay of admission, consultation, or treatment. When ER employees do not take the time needed to properly help their patients, more mistakes get made and patients’ lives suffer the consequences.
What Competent ER Doctors Are Expected To Do
Emergency room doctors usually take immediate actions to suture wounds, alleviate breathing problems, administer necessary medications, and, if urgently required, schedule immediate surgery or hospitalization. If they believe a diagnostic imaging test is necessary to rule out a life-threatening condition, they will schedule it during the same ER visit. Beyond that, they ordinarily recommend follow-up with the primary care doctor or with a particular type of specialist.
Cummings Law Can Get Financial Compensation for Your Injuries and Damages
In some instances, the proof of emergency room negligence may be shocking enough that a settlement occurs that gets you money for your damages and injuries. In other instances, you need a confident and experienced attorney to litigate your case and to take the case to trial for a jury to decide. Brian Cummings can handle either situation well for your benefit by applying his experience and expertise on your behalf. If the case proceeds to the courtroom, he will use his well-honed litigation skills to fight tenaciously to win you the damages you deserve for:
- Medical bills
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disability
- Permanent disfigurement
- Unnecessary progression of a treatable illness
- Death of a family member
If the treatment you received was especially egregious, such as being tended by an ER doctor who was impaired by alcohol or drugs, Cummings Law may also be able to win you punitive damages.
Contact Our Nashville Emergency Room Negligence Attorney
According to Tennessee malpractice law, an ER malpractice claim must be brought within 1 year after the patient realizes he or she has been injured. Because of this statute of limitations for filing an ER malpractice lawsuit in Tennessee, it is important to take legal action as soon as you are able. You can reach Cummings Law by phone or email or by filling out a contact form on our website. The sooner you get in touch with us, the sooner we can fight for you to win you the compensation you deserve.