A medical malpractice lawsuit has just gotten underway involving a family that claims that their loved one died as a result of inadequate care being provided by those who were charged with saving her life. The wrongful death suit was filed by the woman’s family against the emergency room doctor. As in all wrongful death lawsuits, the family claims that their loved one would still be alive were in not for the failure of another to provide the degree of care and caution that the civil law demands.
As reported by North Jersey News, opening statements in the case were recently made where a medical malpractice attorney argued that the 45-year old woman at the center of the case was hurt by her emergency room doctor when she was rushed into the hospital in late December in 2008. The woman had fallen and hit her head, which prompted the emergency room visit. A CT scan afterwards revealed that she had bleeding on the brain.
According to her medical malpractice attorney, had the woman’s condition been treated immediately she could have survived. However, the family alleges that certain procedures were not followed, which meant that she did not receive the care that she needed, leading her to fall into a coma. Eventually she went into surgery, but it was too little too late. The family was informed that she would not be able to recover. She was taken off life support the following day.
On the other side, the medical malpractice attorney representing the defendant-doctor claimed that the medical professional acted appropriately in contacting other specialists. They further allege that the woman had a “long and complicated” history which contributed to her passing.
The plaintiff’s attorneys countered that, the role of an ER doctor goes beyond simply acting as a “traffic director.” Instead, the attorney explained that “Emergency room medicine is a medical specialty, with its own medical specialty board.” In other words, simply sending patients somewhere else are often insufficient, unreasonable conduct for ER doctors which might be an example of deviation from standard care.
Our Chicago medical malpractice lawyers understand that Illinois medical malpractice suits related to emergency room errors. Each different kind of medical malpractice case comes with its own unique issues. As this case demonstrates, emergency rooms issues are somewhat different than issues where time is less of a factor. Of course, that does not mean that medical providers are always immune from liability. As with any medical specialty, the law will examine if the specific conduct in each case was up to a reasonable standard when compared with others in the same specialty and geographic area.
There are no automatic answers to questions and situations like this. The specific verdict should hinge on what evidence is available regarding the woman’s condition when she entered the emergency room and what was (or was not) done. Medical experts will play a crucial role, explaining to the jury whether or not, given those specific circumstances, the doctor’s actions were or were not reasonable.
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