Have you or a loved one been injured because of an emergency room error in Houston, TX? You could be eligible to recover substantial financial compensation for medical expenses, lost earnings, and pain and suffering.
The experienced Houston emergency room errors lawyers at Attorney Brian White & Associates, PC, can help you fight to secure a full financial award.
Call our Houston law office to schedule a free consultation to learn more.
Why Should I Call a Houston Personal Injury Attorney If I Have Been Harmed Because of an Emergency Room Error?
Many people visit hospitals, standalone emergency rooms, urgent care facilities, and walk-in health clinics when they are in need of immediate medical care.
If you go to an emergency room with concerning symptoms like a severe headache, shortness of breath, or abdominal pain, your comfort and health depend on the treating doctor being able to make an accurate diagnosis.
Conditions like a pulmonary embolism, intracranial hemorrhage, or aortic dissection can be deadly if not treated immediately. As a patient, when you go to an emergency room due to illness or following a traumatic event like a car accident, you rely on the treating doctor to quickly determine what diagnostics and care you need.
When doctor’s mistakes and carelessness in the ER cause serious harm, establishing negligence can be difficult. A skilled Houston personal injury lawyer with both medical and legal expertise can retain an expert to attest that your health care provider was negligent, and negotiate a settlement for your injuries, or take your case to trial.
At Attorney Brian White & Associates, PC, we have more than 45 years of combined experience representing medical malpractice and personal injury victims. We treat our clients the way we would want to be treated – with respect and care. We aggressively advocate for our clients’ rights to fair compensation while allowing them to focus on healing and recovering. Call our Houston emergency room error lawyers for a free consultation at (713) 903-2492.
Types of Emergency Room Errors
Many scenarios can lead to a medical malpractice claim. Common errors in Texas emergency rooms that can result in medical malpractice include:
- Errors Related to Diagnosis: According to a report in CBS News, about 12 million adults are misdiagnosed while seeking outpatient care each year. Researchers say that about half of all misdiagnosis cases lead to severe harm.
- Poorly Ran Emergency Rooms: Over the years, the percentage of patients who are seen by a doctor within the recommended treatment time has steadily declined, according to one research study. If a seriously ill patient is left waiting for hours, their symptoms may worsen, which could lead to severe illness or death.
- Medication Errors: Patient mix-ups, lack of clear communication, and poor organization can lead to disastrous errors. Care providers must also ask about allergies and any drugs the patient is already taken which could endanger their health and safety.
- Failure to Order Proper Tests: An emergency room doctor may order blood tests, X-rays, ultrasounds, CT scans, or MRIs to provide a prompt and accurate diagnosis.
- Procedure Errors: Improper or careless procedures like suturing, intubation, or inserting IVs or central lines can lead to severe injury or blood loss.
Careful investigation by a Houston medical malpractice attorney can determine if medical negligence or malpractice occurred. These cases can be challenging and involve both legal and medical expertise. Because Texas has strict time limits on malpractice lawsuits, and it can take some time to review medical records, do not delay in contacting a lawyer as soon as possible.
Are Emergency Room Errors Medical Malpractice?
Texas has a high standard of proof that applies to emergency medical care. Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 74.153 applies only to cases involving emergency medical care, and requires that the doctor or health care provider acted with “willful and wanton negligence.:
This is different from “ordinary negligence,” which means that a provider who did not act as a reasonably prudent physician or health care provider would have acted under the same or similar circumstances.
The Texas Supreme Court has ruled that “willful and wanton negligence” is the equivalent of gross negligence. In medicine, gross negligence is unreasonable and dangerous. Examples of gross negligence include:
- Wrong site surgery
- Unnecessary surgery
- Errors in anesthesia
- Foreign object left in patient
- Prescribing the wrong dosage or a medicine that a patient has disclosed they have an allergy to.
The standard of proof for willful and wanton negligence is complicated, and there may be exceptions. If you were injured due to medical malpractice or negligence in an emergency room, contact Attorney Brian White & Associates, PC. We will give your legal matter prompt attention.
Emergency Room Negligence at Freestanding ERs
Texas has a unique type of facility that is not in other states: freestanding ERs. There are hundreds of these facilities in the Lone Star state, which have popped up in the last decade since Texas became the first state to issue licenses for independent freestanding emergency rooms.
While many people confuse freestanding ERs with urgent care facilities, they are not the same. The service may be similar to urgent care, but the post-care billing comes at steep, hospital prices. Because Texas’ emergency room tort reform became law in 2003 before freestanding emergency rooms popped up all over the state, some courts have ruled that the willful and wanton negligence doesn’t apply to freestanding ER claims.
If you believe you suffered medical negligence or malpractice at a freestanding ER in Houston, an experienced lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and options to pursue a claim for compensation.
Who May Be Liable For Injuries Caused by an Emergency Room Error
Determining liable parties in a medical negligence claim can be convoluted. While hospitals may advertise that they have the best doctors in the city, their doctors may be independent contractors. If you are treated at a public or university hospital, the physician treating you may be a government employee.
Some hospital systems create hospitalist groups or physician organizations that employ many doctors on staff.
Mid-level providers like nurse practitioners and physician assistants may be employed by a physician practice group.
A negligence claim may be brought against several different providers. If a healthcare provider involved in negligence is not employed by the hospital, they may be sued individually, and the hospital may also be sued. Contact a Houston personal injury lawyer who understands medical negligence claims and emergency room malpractice to learn who may be liable in your lawsuit.
Damages Available for Emergency Room Errors
If you were harmed by medical negligence in an emergency room setting, you may recover compensation for medical care, lost income from being unable to work, and pain and suffering. Texas does not place a “cap” on damages for medical expenses or lost earnings, but like many other states, they do place a cap on non-economic damages for pain and suffering.
Under Texas Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code section 74.301, the maximum you can receive in non-economic damages against a single medical provider is $250,000. If multiple health care providers are liable, the maximum you can receive per provider is $250,000, with the limit per claimant at $500,000.
Get a Free Consultation With A Houston Emergency Room Error Lawyer Today
Houston medical malpractice lawyers at Attorney Brian White have witnessed countless events of medical malpractice and negligence over the years. Our attorneys know how difficult and challenging these cases can be, and will fight for your rights to fair compensation. If you’ve been injured in a Houston emergency room, call us today. Our consultation is free and we will not charge any fees unless we recover money for you.