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Who is Liable in Emergency Situations if Something Goes Wrong?


Medical malpractice is never really a cut and dry legal matter. As discussed earlier on this blog, a variety of factors must co-exist for valid medical malpractice claim. First, a "medical standard of care" must be adhered to, and the patient must be injured if the care provided did indeed fall below that standard.

However, in situations where there is a medical emergency, circumstances are such that the standard of care has to be relaxed when compared with most controlled medical treatment settings. As such, there are actual strong protections from lawsuits in place for first responders (fire, police, EMT professionals, and others first responding to an emergency situation). Lawmakers also provide for these protections in an effort to preserve emergency services for the state. These protections do not typically extend to emergency room treating physicians, nurses and other medical staff.

Even though strong protections are in place for first responders, they are not imune from law suits entirely. In cases where it can be demonstrated that the first responder acted egregiously, had clearly deviated from the acceptable standard of care, was exceedingly reckless or inflicted intentional injury or pain, they may find themselves on the receiving end of a personal injury law suit.

Should that happen, the first responder's employer is often found both legally and financially responsible. As with first responders, emergency room medical professionals are not always exactly held to a high medical standard of care that is expected in calmer, more controlled treatment settings.

Because emergency rooms activity is often frenzied and unpredictable, mistakes are more common and likely to happen. And because of that, often medical malpractice cases against emergency room personnel may be unsuccessful in recovering damages.

If you have questions about a potential medical malpractice cases, you need the advice of a seasoned personal injury attorney like those at Panio Law Offices. We can help assess your claim, document your damages and injuries, and develop your case. We work to ensure you are able to recouperate from your injuries. Call us at (708) 928-8680. We can help.

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