Can I sue an ER for releasing me without treatment for sepsis and pneumonia?
Question Details: I went to the E.R. complaining of shortness of breath, fever and overall body pain. They took my vitals, checked me in, and told me it was anxiety. They released me with no testing or treatment. Several hours later, I went to a different E.R. by ambulance, for which they discovered I was in fact sepsis with pneumonia. They immediately admitted me to the intensive care unit, where I was treated for 6 days followed by 14 more days in the hospital and then released to recover.
Medical malpractice is negligence. Negligence on the part of the first hospital is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable hospital would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).
Prior to filing a lawsuit for negligence against the first hospital, it may be possible to settle the case with the hospital's malpractice insurance carrier. Your claim filed with that insurance carrier should include your medical bills, medical reports, and if applicable, documentation of wage loss.
Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement. The medical reports document your medical condition and medical treatment, and are used to determine compensation for pain and suffering which is an amount in addition to the medical bills. Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.
If the case is settled with the hospital's malpractice insurance carrier, no lawsuit is filed.
If you are dissatisfied with the settlement offers from the hospital's malpractice insurance carrier, reject them and file your lawsuit for negligence against the first hospital.
If the case is NOT settled, your lawsuit for negligence against the first hospital must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.