Emergency Room Errors and Injuries

You should never take a trip to the emergency room lightly. When a person seeks critical care, they have a serious and even life-threatening medical emergency. Unfortunately, when they need help the most, they may find that they suffer additional harm from sub-standard care.

If you are hurt because of inadequate care in the emergency room, you may be able to bring a legal action for financial compensation. Our Denver personal injury lawyers explain emergency room errors and injuries.

A doctor and nurse holding a stethoscope

Examples of Emergency Room Errors and Injuries

Unfortunately, mistakes can happen in an emergency room that affect the level of care patients receive. Some types of errors or injuries that may occur in the emergency room include:

  • Misdiagnosis
  • Ordering the wrong tests or failing to recognize symptoms
  • Inaccurate test interpretation
  • Medication errors
  • Treating the wrong limb or body part
  • Lifting/patient transport error
  • Failure to appropriately prioritize patients for care
  • Mix up of patient records
  • Chart mistakes
  • Anesthesia errors
  • Blood transfusion mistakes
  • Carelessness during surgery
  • Improper aftercare instructions
  • Refusal to treat
  • Assessment mistakes

Any one of these issues can impact your outcome and overall health. You may even suffer long-term consequences when a health professional doesn’t use reasonable care. But remember, you have rights.

Can You Sue an Emergency Room for Misdiagnosis?

Yes, you can sue an emergency room for misdiagnosis. The care that you receive when you go to the ER has to be up to standards for appropriate medical care. Even though an emergency room can be chaotic at times, caregivers must still provide at least an adequate level of care up to the standards of a reasonable medical facility where workers have professional training.

If you suffer physical injury or prolonged suffering from improper medical care in an emergency room, you may be able to sue for misdiagnosis and claim compensation through the legal system.

Can I Get Compensation for an Emergency Room Injury?

You may be eligible to receive compensation for an ER injury if you have any of the following problems or complications:

  • Symptoms and treatment were delayed, causing additional suffering
  • Additional complications arose
  • Wrongful death
  • Avoidable physical pain
  • Disfigurement that could have been prevented
  • Inability to work
  • Disability
  • Paralysis
  • Traumatic brain injury

What Do I Have To Prove in Colorado To Win an Emergency Room Lawsuit?

In Colorado, you must prove the following to win an emergency room lawsuit:

1. You had a doctor-patient relationship with the professional that caused the error

Having a doctor-patient relationship doesn’t necessarily mean that the person spoke with you directly. But it must have been a person who was a part of your medical team who committed the malpractice in your case. A relationship may exist with a doctor, nurse or even paraprofessional. The existence of a treating relationship between the professional and victim creates a duty for the professional to act with reasonable care and skill.

2. The medical professional didn’t provide reasonable care

The ER isn’t necessarily responsible for a bad medical outcome. They are only accountable when they do not provide care per accepted medical practice standards. Their actions must be comparable to at least the minimal measures of trained staff with appropriate experience and supervision. The victim may rely on customary practices to show how there was a lack of reasonable care in the case.

3. Injuries result

Injuries must result to the victim from medical malpractice. If the errors are caught and corrected before harm occurs, there is no claim. The victim must suffer actual harm because of the negligent actions of the ER staff.

4. Damages occur

To have a valid medical malpractice claim, a victim must have damages. Typically, damages include increased medical bills for assessment and treatment because of physical injuries. However, there are many kinds of damages that a victim may receive, including pain and suffering.

Laws for Colorado Emergency Room Lawsuits

The emergency room is a place for medical treatment. For this reason, medical malpractice laws that apply in the State of Colorado apply to ER claims. For most claims that relate to poor emergency room care, the case will be a medical malpractice case.

Colorado Revised Statutes 13-80-102.5¹ says that a victim of medical malpractice has two years to initiate a claim based on poor emergency room care. The only exceptions are when a child is under age six at the time of the malpractice, when the error is actively concealed or not discoverable or when a foreign object is left in the body. The plaintiff must comply with filing a certificate of review within 60 days of starting the lawsuit. The review must be from a medical expert who examines the case and affirms its merit.

Colorado law 13-64-302² imposes damages caps of $1 million in medical malpractice cases with a $300,000 cap in non-economic losses. There may be exceptions to these limitations for good cause. An attorney for emergency room lawsuits can help you pursue all avenues to bring your claim and maximize the amount of relief that you receive.

Types of Compensation for Emergency Room Lawsuits

You may qualify for several different kinds of compensation for an emergency room lawsuit, including:

  • The cost of additional medical care
  • Compensation for prolonged suffering
  • Long-term future medical bills
  • Failure to work and lost income
  • Brain damage
  • Disability and a diminished lifestyle

Compensation for emergency room medical malpractice should be a comprehensive treatment of the economic and non-economic losses that result from an ER injury. Your attorney can ensure that no categories of payment are overlooked.

Attorneys for Errors in the Emergency Room

Have you been hurt because of inadequate care in an emergency room? Contact us today for a free consultation about your legal rights. Let our team of attorneys for medical malpractice lawsuits pursue justice for you. You may deserve financial compensation based on failing to receive adequate care. To receive compensation, you must take legal action.

Our team can help you determine what your claim may be worth, pursue legal action on your behalf and build the evidence. We’re a team of experienced legal professionals determined to help injured individuals get the help they need when a trip to the emergency room turns into a nightmare.


¹CRS 13-80-102.5

²CRS 13-64-302

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