You know what happened. You waited so long for emergency room care that your condition worsened, and you suffered physical injuries that you would not have suffered if you had been appropriately triaged and promptly treated. What you didn’t expect was that the hospital would claim that the delay you experienced was your fault. Now you are facing a comparative negligence defense.
Was the ER Delay Your Fault?
As part of its defense, the hospital may claim that they did not treat you right away in the ER because you failed to do one or more of the following:
- Describe all of your symptoms accurately
- Provide a medical history that would have led reasonable ER staff to prioritize your treatment
- Disclose all of your medications
These allegations may or may not be true, but either way, you will need a medical malpractice attorney on your side as soon as possible to counter this kind of defense.
You Can Still Recover Damages
Even if it is true that you failed to provide certain information in the ER, that may not have been your fault. Instead, the hospital may still be liable if employees failed to ask you questions to assess your condition or if doctors overlooked obvious symptoms of a serious medical condition that required prompt treatment.
You may still recover damages for your delay in treatment if you can prove that staff in the emergency room was the primary cause of your injury. Under the comparative negligence law, your own negligence may decrease the amount of your compensation, but it may not prevent your entire recovery. For example, if the court finds that you were 25% responsible and the hospital was 75% responsible for the delay in treatment, your recovery would be reduced by 25%. Therefore, if your total damages were $100,000, you would be able to recover $75,000 through legal action.
To learn more about protecting your right to damages in a delay-in-treatment case, please contact our experienced delay-in-treatment medical malpractice law firm today for a free, no-obligation consultation about your rights and possible recovery.