Health care professionals must act quickly during medical emergencies, which can lead to mistakes and patient injury. However, whether an injured patient can file a medical malpractice lawsuit depends largely on which medical personnel acted negligently – a first responder, a doctor or nurse, or an emergency room (ER) staff member.
While the vast majority of states have laws protecting first responders from medical malpractice lawsuits, no such protections apply to ER doctors and nurses. First responders often reach a patient initially in an emergency and may include:
- Ambulance crew members
- Emergency medical technicians (EMTs)
There are certain exceptions to the state statutes that protect these medical professionals. For example, a first responder could still be legally and financially responsible for a person’s injuries if he or she acted in a blatantly intentional, reckless or negligent manner. On the other hand, standard medical malpractice rules apply to ER personnel including doctors and nurses.
Hospitals are often held liable in medical malpractice lawsuits involving an ER doctor’s negligent behavior. In a few states, hospitals can be sued for ER malpractice regardless of whether the injured patient knew ahead of time that the attending doctor was an independent contractor as opposed to a hospital employee.
Contact Our Pennsylvania and New Jersey Medical Malpractice Lawyers
At Anapol Weiss, our attorneys and staff have vast experience and success in representing medical malpractice victims and their families. Our medical negligence lawyers are knowledgeable in the intricacies of the law and are committed to pursuing every detail in a client’s case.
Contact our firm for assistance if you or a family member was hurt by a medical mistake. It’s important to protect your rights as soon as possible, as the statute of limitations on medical malpractice cases can forever bar injured patients from obtaining justice and compensation.