Emergency Room Errors in Military Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice is a systematic failure of doctors or staff members to meet the rigorous standard of care that all medical professionals must adhere to.
This standard should be explicitly upheld by all medical professionals, especially those treating military personnel. However, when military physicians fall short, and negligence leads to injury, many service members and their families don’t know where to turn for help. Military members may not even realize that today there are several legal options available to them for seeking compensation after an emergency room medical malpractice incident.
At Bertram Law Group, PLLC, our military medical malpractice lawyers are dedicated to providing service members and their families with exceptional legal representation. Rules and regulations pertaining to legal claims made by members of the military are constantly evolving. At Bertram Law Group, PLLC, we are up to date on all the current regulations and changes that could impact service members and their ability to seek compensation if they are injured by military medical malpractice.
Whether you are active duty, a veteran, or a family member of a service member, you may be able to recover compensation following an emergency room error. To discuss your situation and find out how the legal team at Bertram Law Group, PLLC may be able to help, call us today or fill out our online form.
Types of Military Emergency Room Errors
The emergency room is an active and emotionally charged space where life and death decisions are made every single day. Working in this type of environment requires nerves of steel, dedication, and a wealth of medical knowledge because the unknown can be wheeled through the double doors at any moment.
However, the chaotic and often stressful nature of the emergency room does not excuse negligence or recklessness when it comes to treating patients. Members of the military are trained to handle intense situations with a clear and level head. Patients should expect that same thoughtfulness and careful approach when it comes to their treatment in a military emergency room facility.
When medical care falls below the standard of care and causes harm to a patient, negligence may be to blame. This negligence can result in a variety of emergency room errors, any one of which can severely alter the course of a patient’s health care trajectory. In some cases, medical negligence can result in death.
Some of the most common errors that can take place in military emergency room settings include:
- Failure to diagnose
- Delayed diagnosis
- Administering improper treatment
- Failure to monitor the patient
- Failure to refer the patient to a specialist
- Medication errors
- Anesthesia errors
- Delay in treatment
- Laboratory errors
- Improperly interpreted test results
- Improper discharge
- Procedural or paperwork errors
What Are the Causes of Military Emergency Room Errors?
The emergency room is one of the most stressful locations in a hospital. The persistent stress and pressure can sometimes result in medical errors that can adversely affect the health of patients.
Negligence on the part of emergency room administrators can result in medical errors due to a lack of protocol. Negligence can happen at any point in the chain of command, from nurses to doctors, laboratory specialists, and technicians to hospital administration.
Some of the most common causes of these negligent errors include:
- Lack of training
- Lack of equipment
- Lack of resources
- Improper patient-to-staff ratio
- Deviating from standard protocol
- Failure to obtain patient medical history
- Lack of access to medical history
- Communication problems or lack of communication
Causes of medical errors should not be mistaken for excuses. Although an emergency department is a hectic and active environment, medical staff is expected to act with the utmost of care. When staff cut corners, lack the necessary experience, or violate the standard of care and an injury is a result, they may be held accountable for their negligence.
Who Can Bring a Claim?
Up until recently, only certain individuals were able to sue the military for malpractice. In the past, only military dependents – including spouses and children of active military members, veterans, and retired personnel – have been allowed to pursue medical malpractice claims.
Actively serving members of the military were typically barred from suing military physicians for medical malpractice and negligence under what is known as the Feres Doctrine. This doctrine specified that military members were prohibited from suing the federal government for injuries sustained during their service, even if those injuries were the result of negligence.
However, the rules have begun to change. A recent National Defense Authorization Act included provisions in a bill called the SFC Richard Stayskal Medical Accountability Act that allow servicemembers or surviving family members to file claims for injury or death against Department of Defense-employed healthcare providers. If medical negligence or a wrongful act occurs in a military hospital or clinic and someone is injured or dies as a result, the victim or their families can now bring legal action.
The original bill was named for Sgt. 1st Class Richard Stayskal, a Green Beret who returned home to live with terminal lung cancer after military doctors failed to diagnose his illness.
With recent changes in laws and the complexity with which the military-bureaucratic system works, it can be difficult to determine who can bring a medical malpractice claim against emergency room staff.
The changing landscape of the nature of military claims means that those injured by negligence need the assistance of an experienced and qualified attorney. The legal team with Bertram Law Group, PLLC, stays up to date with current and changing laws and regulations governing active military members and their families. We are also well-versed in handling the complexities of medical malpractice claims in emergency room settings.
Do I Have a Military Negligence Claim?
The best way to determine if you have a medical malpractice claim against a military emergency room staff member is to talk with an attorney who is well-versed in handling military medical malpractice cases.
Typical medical malpractice cases are detailed and complex. There are a variety of factors that must be met in order to file a medical malpractice claim. These factors include determining whether there was a violation of the standard of care, if an injury was caused by negligence, and whether the injury resulted in significant damages to the patient.
Dealing with the federal government and the military adds an extra layer of complexity to medical malpractice cases. The process can be daunting and complicated, leading many victims to avoid even the thought of filing a malpractice claim. Changes in laws compound this problem, and many service members may not even be aware that they have legal options for dealing with medical negligence.
How a Military Medical Malpractice Lawyer Can Help
It takes more than an experienced attorney to handle a military medical malpractice case. An attorney must also be familiar with the intricacies of handling cases involving government entities, the federal government, and the military. Cases involving these institutions are much different from cases that are filed by civilians.
As a Washington D.C.-based law firm, the attorneys with Bertram Law Group, PLLC, understand what it takes to successfully pursue compensation in complex cases involving large insurance providers, the government, and the military. We have the staffing and the resources it takes to navigate the complex process of litigating serious medical malpractice and negligence claims. With hard work and diligence, we have achieved positive outcomes and recovered sizable settlements for countless victims of medical negligence.
At Bertram Law Group, PLLC, we want to ensure that active and former service members and their families have experienced and aggressive legal representation. If you believe negligence and medical malpractice are to blame for an injury you or your loved one suffered, the team at Bertram Law Group, PLLC, wants to hear from you. You stand up to defend your country. We are here to stand up to defend you.
Contact the Military Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Bertram Law Group, PLLC
The military is supposed to provide for its own. What happens when this care falls short, and people are injured as a result of negligence? Many victims feel abandoned during this crisis, their greatest time of need. At Bertram Law Group, PLLC, we are here to support military members injured by emergency room negligence. We will fight to protect your rights and help you seek compensation for your injuries.
If you have been injured as a result of military emergency room negligence, contact the legal team at Bertram Law Group, PLLC, for more information on how we may be able to help you. To discuss your legal options, call us today or reach out to us online.