Emergency Room Errors & Malpractice Cases: FAQs (Pt. 2)
November 9, 2014
Picking up from where we left off in Emergency Room Errors & Malpractice Cases: FAQs (Pt. 1), here we will continue to respond to FAQs about ER mistakes and malpractice cases.
Q – When are emergency room errors more likely to occur?
A – Various factors in ER settings can substantially increase the risk that emergency room errors will occur. Some of these common include (by are by no means limited to):
- A huge, sudden influx of patients
- Lack of sufficient staff in ERs, which can lead to few medical professionals trying to provide extensive medical care to a lot of injured people
- ER staff being fatigued due to, for example, working double shifts
- Hospitals lacking the equipment necessary to provide the appropriate level of care to patients (While this can involve hospitals not having the appropriate diagnostic equipment, it can also include cases in which hospitals lack sufficient beds for patients being cared for in ERs).
The bottom line here is that any number of different circumstances can contribute to emergency room errors and that experienced lawyers can carefully evaluate specific cases to identify which factors may have played a role in a particular person’s case.
Q – What are my options for compensation after being injured by emergency room errors?
A – In general, pursuing medical malpractice lawsuits after being injured by emergency room errors will be injured people’s best option for obtaining the financial recovery they likely deserve. With these cases, however, it’s important for prospective plaintiffs (i.e., injured people considering this option) to be aware of the following:
- Malpractice cases based on emergency room errors claims can be complicated and can take some time to resolve.
- When hospitals are identified as defendants in these cases (because hospital condition’s, protocols or staff contributed to emergency room errors), these cases can become far more contentious and complex.
- Most malpractice cases, including those related to emergency room errors, are settled before trial.
- Having an experienced attorney to litigate these cases on behalf of injured people will be critical to the outcome and success of these claims.
Q – How long do I have to file a medical malpractice case to seek compensation for my emergency room errors?
A – This is a tricky question to answer because, first and foremost, it will depend where a person will be filing their malpractice case. This is because the filing time limits, also referred to as the statutes of limitations for these cases, are different in different states.
In Oregon, the statute of limitations for filing medical malpractice claims is two years, and in Washington State, it’s three years. Here, it should also be noted that when these time frames start counting down can be less straightforward to pinpoint, as they can start either:
- As of the date on which the emergency room errors took place
- As of the date on which the injuries caused by the emergency room errors are diagnosed.
While these time frames may seem long and generous, waiting until the last minute to file malpractice can be detrimental to plaintiffs’ cases, as it can lead to:
- A risk of running out the statute of limitations
- Less possible evidence being available for injured people’s cases (as witnesses’ memories fade, some evidence may get lost or misplaced, etc.).
Contact the Trusted Portland Medical Malpractice Lawyers at the Savage Law Firm
Have you or someone you love been hurt by malpractice in an emergency room? If so, the Portland medical malpractice attorneys at the Savage Law Firm are here for you, ready to fight for your rights to compensation and justice.
To learn more about our legal services and what we can do for you, call us at 503-222-0200 (in Portland) or at 206-957-7272 (in Seattle). You can also email us using the form on this page.
We represent clients in communities in both Oregon and Washington from our offices in Portland and Seattle.