The emergency room can be a crazy place. It has been the setting for fast-paced TV shows and movies for decades for good reason. Although the organization and treatment at emergency facilities can be top-notch, often, accidents can happen. So here’s a quick guide from Kansas medical malpractice attorney Prochaska, Howell & Prochaska to emergency room malpractice.
Most states have strong protection statutes for first responders – ambulance crews, firefighters and emergency medical technicians. Lawmakers have added these protections to preserve emergency services, which may often otherwise be in jeopardy due to lawsuits. But these statues don’t completely protect first responders. If they act in a way that is totally reckless, negligent or intentional, he or she could be liable for malpractice, which would then be the responsibility of their employer.
ER Doctors and Nurses
The legal protection provided to first responders does not extend to doctors and nurses. If a malpractice case is suspected, the patient must prove that a competent doctor under the same circumstances would not have made the same mistake – which, if found to be true, is considered negligence.
The hospital is often the one taking the hit for the mistakes of its employees. But, if a doctor is not an employee of the hospital (a private contractor), in most situations, he or she can be held personally responsible because, in Kansas, the hospital cannot be held vicariously liable for a doctor. Typically, hospitals are only held responsible for their nurses.
The courtroom, much like the emergency room, can be a confusing place. So if you feel you’ve been a victim of emergency room negligence and malpractice, the attorneys at Prochaska, Howell & Prochaska LLC can help with decades of experience in the world of medical malpractice.