What are your legal rights when you go to the hospital? While this shouldn’t be a concern, it is a question that far too many patients and families in Louisiana face on a daily basis. Hospital negligence is commonplace, and mistakes in the hospital setting often lead to serious and fatal medical conditions. If you or a loved one has received substandard care in a Louisiana hospital, you may be entitled to financial compensation, and you should speak with a hospital negligence attorney promptly.
When Can Patients Pursue Claims for Hospital Negligence?
Hospital negligence can take many different forms. If you sought treatment in a Louisiana hospital, and if your condition worsened despite your efforts to seek care, you could have a claim against the hospital. While there are some circumstances in which there is nothing that a physician, physician assistant, or nurse can do, many patients suffer unnecessarily due to receiving substandard care.
So, as a patient, when should you hire an attorney for hospital negligence in Louisiana? Here are seven common examples of hospital negligence:
1. Triage and Emergency Room Errors
In the emergency room (ER), proper triage is extremely important. While some patients visit the emergency room for relatively minor illnesses and injuries, others go to the ER with urgent medical needs and potentially life-threatening conditions. Failure to appropriately prioritize patients’ needs can have dire consequences, and it is considered a form of hospital negligence under Louisiana law.
Other emergency room errors may constitute hospital negligence as well. From failing to perform necessary tests to failing to provide timely treatment, there are numerous issues that can entitle ER patients to just compensation.
2. Failure to Diagnose
Failure to diagnose is among the most common forms of hospital negligence. Too often, physicians and physician assistants only conduct cursory assessments of patients’ symptoms. As a result, they overlook potential diagnoses, and they send patients home without the treatment they need.
3. Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis
Misdiagnoses and delayed diagnoses are also extremely common. Lack of time spent with patients is a recurring issue in these cases as well, but various other forms of hospital negligence can also lead to these types of diagnostic mistakes. In the ER in particular, even short delays can be enough to cause adverse events, and failure to order necessary tests, failure to review patients’ charts, and failure to perform appropriate differential diagnoses can all lead to patients not getting the treatment they need.
4. Surgical Errors
Surgical errors can range from performing the wrong procedure to causing internal injuries during surgery. Wrong-site and wrong-side procedures are also alarmingly common, as are situations in which surgeons leave tools, gauze, and other foreign objects in patients’ bodies. In cases involving surgical errors, the hospital will often be liable, and recovering compensation will involve filing a claim with the hospital’s insurance company.
5. Anesthesia and Medication Errors
Anesthesia errors can be extremely dangerous. Both overdose and underdose can lead to severe complications, and anesthesia errors can have permanent consequences in some cases. The same is true of medication errors. From prescribing the wrong medication to prescribing the wrong dosage, these errors are extremely common as well, and they will often be indicative of hospital negligence.
6. Failure to Prevent Infections and Other Complications
Healthcare-associated infections (HAI) are entirely preventable. Yet, they are also alarmingly common. Hospitals must take adequate measures to prevent these infections in their facilities, and they must ensure that they have adequate staff, supplies, and equipment to prevent other unnecessary complications as well. Understaffing, hiring unqualified medical professionals, failure to enforce appropriate sanitation procedures, and failure to purchase and maintain adequate medical equipment are all forms of hospital negligence that can lead to HAI and other unnecessary complications.
7. Failure to Monitor
In the hospital setting, failure to monitor is also a common cause of unnecessary patient harm. Despite needing constant monitoring, patients may go for hours without being seen by a doctor. While using equipment to monitor patients’ vital signs may be enough in some cases, hospitals cannot rely on this equipment exclusively. Doctors will need to speak with or physically examine patients in order to assess their medical needs in many cases.
When Can Families Pursue Claims for Hospital Negligence?
In addition to patients, families can pursue claims for hospital negligence in many cases as well. If a loved one is suffering due to receiving substandard care in a Louisiana hospital, or if you have lost a loved one who sought diagnosis or treatment in a Louisiana hospital, you should speak with a hospital negligence attorney promptly. Three of the most common scenarios in which families can recover financial compensation for hospital negligence include:
- Your Child Received a Misdiagnosis or Other Substandard Care – From preventable birth injuries to failure to properly diagnose and treat sports-related injuries, hospital negligence is unfortunately a very real concern for child patients of all ages. If your child received a misdiagnosis or other substandard care, your family may have a claim for hospital negligence.
- Your Aging Parent Received a Misdiagnosis or Other Substandard Care – Certain types of medical mistakes can be particularly dangerous for aging patients. If you are concerned that your aging parent may have received inadequate care at a Louisiana hospital, you should speak with an attorney about your family’s legal rights promptly in this scenario as well.
- You Have Lost a Loved One Due to a Medical Mistake in a Hospital – If you have lost a loved one who was seeking treatment in a Louisiana hospital, it will be important for you to find out if your loved one’s death resulted from hospital negligence. If so, your family may be entitled to a significant financial recovery, and pursuing a wrongful death claim could be essential to your family’s long-term financial wellbeing.
Talk to a Louisiana Hospital Negligence Attorney for Free
If you suspect hospital negligence and would like to speak with an attorney, we encourage you to contact us promptly for a free consultation. To speak with Louisiana hospital negligence attorney Chris J. Roy in confidence as soon as possible, call 318-413-6731 or request an appointment online now.