Emergency Room Falls and Medical Malpractice
Emergency rooms are busy places. Things tend to move at a fast pace and rooms and halls are often cluttered with people and medical equipment. Given the environment, it is not surprising that emergency room falls are not uncommon. These falls can result in serious personal injuries, which can further lead to pain and suffering and financial losses.
When a person suffers an emergency room fall, they are likely to wonder if they are due financial compensation for resulting losses. Medical malpractice attorneys at Younker Hyde Macfarlane can work with fall victims in Salt Lake City, and surrounding Utah, areas to determine if they have grounds to file a lawsuit and pursue financial damages.
When Is a Fall the Result of Medical Malpractice?
For an emergency room fall to be classified as medical malpractice, there are a couple of key factors that must be evident. First and foremost, the fall must occur while the person is receiving medical treatment, or is under the care of the hospital. If a person is simply visiting another patient in the emergency room, there is not an established doctor-patient relationship, so there are no grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit (though there may be grounds for a premises liability case).
In addition to showing that the patient was under medical care when their emergency room fall occurred, it must also be demonstrated that a treating medical professional provided care that fell short of the accepted standard. Finally, substandard care needs to be directly linked to the cause of the fall.
Examples of situations where substandard medical care can lead to an emergency room fall include:
- Failure to diagnose that the patient is having balance issues
- Failure to diagnose a stroke or other conditions that can limit mobility
- Neglecting to label a patient as being high risk for a fall
- Placing a patient who is at high risk for a fall in a bed without rails, or neglecting to take other safety measures to minimize the risk of a fall
- Prescribing a patient multiple medications at once, creating side effects that makes them unsteady
Proving a Medical Malpractice Case
To prove a medical malpractice case for our Salt Lake City clients, our attorneys must show that a doctor-patient relationship had been established, that the medical provider failed to meet up to the accepted standard of care, and that the failure to provide the accepted standard of care led to the fall. To do this, we rely largely on evidence (such as medical records) and expert testimony.
Expert testimony is necessary to demonstrate that medical professionals with similar levels of training and/or expertise would have taken different actions if they had been faced with the same situation.
If an emergency room fall is the result of medical malpractice, victims have the right to pursue compensation for the full extent of their losses. This may include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- A loss of earning potential
- Pain and suffering
Contact Younker Hyde Macfarlane
If you suspect that you have been the victim of medical malpractice you should discuss your case with the attorneys at Younker Hyde Macfarlane to determine if you have a valid case. To schedule a personal consultation with our attorneys, contact our law firm online or call (801) 335-6467.