Emergency rooms are high-pressure settings involving quick decisions and immediate actions. ER nurses and doctors need to be on their toes to address a range of serious medical needs. This is why they are held to a different standard of care as compared to health care professionals in less-intense situations.
What Constitutes Emergency Room Negligence in Texas?
Hospital emergency rooms and ER physicians in Texas are not liable for their misconduct unless they act with “willful and wanton negligence.” This phrase has been defined by courts to mean “gross negligence” with an additional intentional or malicious component. This is a very high and difficult standard of proof. Our ER negligence attorney will focus on establishing that the ER medical care providers acted with willful and wanton negligence, which falls outside the acceptable emergency room standard of care.
We will also collect evidence to establish the link that your injury or a loved one’s wrongful death occurred because of the willful and wanton negligence of the ER professionals. Here are a few examples of what may constitute ER “willful and wanton negligence” in the most egregious of circumstances:
- Failure to order the right diagnostic tests
- Failure to respond to patient’s symptoms in a proper manner
- Medication errors, such as over and under dose
- Anesthesia errors
- Failure to treat or diagnose a heart attack
- Intubation errors
- IV mistakes, including improper insertion
- Misdiagnosis, leading to early hospital discharge
- Patient falls or dropping patient from the bed
- Failure to treat arterial embolism, resulting in amputation
- Improper communication between the medical team members
It’s crucial to understand that the court will examine several key factors around your case to determine whether ER malpractice occurred. This includes assessing whether the ER providers’ negligent acts or omissions constitute a course of conduct that involves more than momentary thoughtlessness, inadvertence, or an error in judgment; rather, they constitute such an entire want of care as to establish that the acts or omissions were the result of conscious indifference to the rights, safety, and welfare of the patient, and involved an extreme degree of risk of severe bodily harm or death, considering the probability and magnitude of the potential harm. In addition, the court will assess whether the ER providers had actual subjective awareness of the extreme degree of risk of harm but, nonetheless, proceeded to act with conscious indifference towards the rights, safety, and welfare of the patient.