If a doctor, nurse, or another medical professional makes a mistake in the emergency room, their patient could sustain serious injuries or even die as a result. If you or a loved one was injured—or an existing condition was worsened—as a result of a visit to the ER, you could have a valid claim for emergency room medical malpractice.

Having an experienced emergency room malpractice attorney can help you get the justice you deserve. The experienced New Mexico malpractice lawyers of Poulos & Coates, LLP, understand how frightening and confusing this situation can be. Malpractice claims and lawsuits are our sole focus, helping ensure that you get the care and attention you deserve.

The Growing Threat of Emergency Room Errors

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 40 out of every 100 Americans visit the emergency room every year—that’s more than 130 million trips to the ER. Every year in the U.S., 250,000 people die due to medical errors. Despite how well-publicized malpractice incidents have become, they continue to occur with an astounding level of frequency.

After the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, emergency departments became especially overwhelmed as hospitals struggled to keep up with the growing number of patients. Emergency medical facilities remain understaffed, and in many cases, urgent care facilities are forced to hire medical treatment providers who have minimal experience.

These and other challenges—including dwindling ER budgets—have combined to create a perfect storm of risk every time anyone sets foot in the emergency room for help.

Not every ER mistake constitutes malpractice, however, even if the victim suffered significant injuries or lost their life. To make a case for ER malpractice, you must demonstrate that the treatment provider acted with negligence or malice and failed to deliver a reasonable standard of care to the victim.

Who Can Commit Emergency Room Malpractice?

Although emergency room physicians are the most commonly responsible for medical malpractice, any type of medical treatment or services provider can commit malpractice. In the ER, this could include nurses, lab techs, and a variety of other staff members. You could also have grounds to include the hospital or urgent care practice in your legal claim.

You must prove that you had a doctor-patient relationship with the provider. You must also demonstrate that the provider failed to provide you with a reasonable standard of care and, as a direct result, you were harmed. By proving these elements, the at-fault party becomes liable for the damages you suffered.

What Are Some Common Emergency Room Errors in New Mexico?

Emergency room errors and urgent care malpractice often occur due to the crowding, urgency, and insufficient time for clinicians to spend with patients. ER physicians, nurses, and other staff members experience a high level of pressure to get as much done as possible with as few resources as possible. Competing priorities in this settling increases the chance that emergency medical professionals will make mistakes.

Research shows that almost half of ER malpractice claims are due to diagnostic error. The steps for diagnosis—hypothesis, questioning, examination, testing, and verification—are often rushed, leading doctors to make cognitive errors. Patients visiting the ER may not always suffer from a life-threatening condition. Patients without health insurance often use the ER as a way of getting treatment. These factors can lead medical professionals to have an inherent bias that can also lead to missed, delayed, or incorrect diagnoses. Diagnostic errors occur most frequently for patients suffering from abdominal complaints and with some types of heart issues. Other common types of ER malpractice include errors in administering treatment, administering incorrect treatment, and medication errors.

The most common reasons for emergency room errors include insufficient practitioner knowledge, faulty information processing, inadequate information gathering, and practitioner preconceptions and bias. Poor communication also results in adverse events in the ER. For example, if the doctor fails to communicate aftercare or next steps to the patient sufficiently, the patient could experience adverse effects.

Examples of Urgent Care Malpractice Injuries in New Mexico

Patients can suffer virtually any type of medical problem as a result of emergency room or urgent care malpractice. However, some of the most common injuries that victims experience are:

  • Heart attack,
  • Stroke,
  • Hemorrhaging,
  • Internal bleeding,
  • Pulmonary embolism,
  • Paralysis,
  • Organ damage, and
  • Infection.

Depending on the nature of your injuries, you could sustain long-term or even permanent damage. Many victims die as a result of ER malpractice, potentially providing their families with a valid cause of action for wrongful death.

How an Emergency Room Malpractice Lawyer Can Help

Having an experienced medical malpractice attorney on your side can help you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries and other damages.

Attorneys understand how to gather evidence and build the strongest possible case for malpractice victims. This typically requires obtaining medical records and soliciting the opinions of subject matter experts. Your attorney will also document your physical, emotional, and financial damages to help ensure you get the compensation you deserve.

Your attorney will handle all correspondence and negotiation with the at-fault party’s insurance company. Often, attorneys can negotiate a fair settlement without having to take your case to court. If filing a lawsuit becomes necessary, however, having an experienced litigator on your side will be invaluable.

Speak to an Emergency Room Malpractice Attorney in New Mexico Today

In New Mexico, Poulos & Coates, LLP, provides comprehensive medical malpractice representation that is tailored to the specific needs of our clients. We have more than 70 years of experience—and we only handle malpractice cases. We also have a medical doctor and a nurse in-house, to help ensure you get the best possible results.

You do not have to face this challenge alone. Before you speak to the insurance company or discuss your case with any other parties, contact our office. We offer a free consultation and case evaluation for clients throughout New Mexico. We never collect any legal fees until and unless we recover compensation for you.To learn more or to schedule an appointment with an emergency room malpractice attorney in New Mexico, contact us now.