If you have been turned away when seeking medical treatment, you are probably wondering if you have any recourse. If you find yourself in a situation like this, you should consider consulting with a medical malpractice attorney. You could be entitled to financial compensation.
The CDC estimates that nearly 130 million patients go to the emergency room each year in the United States. Public and private hospitals both are required to provide emergency care to individuals even without insurance.
In 1986, Congress enacted the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act, also known as EMTALA. EMTALA requires private hospitals receiving public funding through Medicare to provide emergency treatment to anyone in need whether or not they can pay for the medical care out of pocket or with insurance. EMTALA also requires hospitals to treat patients until they are stable even without payment. It mandates that a hospital may not release someone in need of medical care to another hospital based on that person’s inability to pay.
Not all healthcare facilities are included in EMTALA’s mandates. Some types of emergency service providers not included in EMTALA are:
There are specific circumstances when a hospital is not required to perform emergency care. Some of these situations include patients who:
Medical gaslighting is when a healthcare provider doubts or dismisses a patient’s symptoms. Sometimes this means that the medical provider blames a patient’s illness on psychological facts. A medical provider might downplay or even blow off your symptoms by convincing you that you are wrong or that you are imagining your problems. Some of the signs of gaslighting that you should be aware of are when your doctor or healthcare provider:
Medical gaslighting can have significant consequences. It can delay a patient from receiving a correct diagnosis or a diagnosis at all. This can cause a patient to endure a painful or stressful medical situation and creates resentment and mistrust of medical professionals. Some such patients might be perceived as hypochondriacs, with a fear of becoming sick or making a bigger deal about symptoms than is necessary. Statistics show that the following people groups are more likely to experience medical gaslighting:
EMTALA imposes various punishments, including:
EMTALA does not normally apply to private hospitals, which may refuse patients emergency care. Private hospitals are only prohibited from refusing treatment if they refuse service in a discriminatory way, which includes discrimination based on age, gender, sexual orientation, race, nationality, or religion.
Other hospitals may refuse treatment for the following reasons:
The best way to recover compensation after being refused treatment is to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. Even if your claim doesn’t line up perfectly with EMTALA, you can file a medical malpractice lawsuit for negligence.
Car accident claims are often the result of a negligent action. Negligence is the failure to act with the level of care that a reasonably careful person would have used. Each personal injury claim is different, but negligence claims generally must prove four elements:
Medical malpractice claims must be filed within a specified time period. A statute of limitations is a limit on how long after your accident you can file your claim. Statutes of limitations are meant to protect against unfair lawsuits by making sure the injured party in the legal action can still gather the evidence needed to fairly defend themselves.
The statute of limitations in a medical malpractice suit will depend on the place where the medical malpractice occurred, whether the malpractice caused death, and when the malpractice was discovered.
The length of the statute of limitations will depend on the state, but in Washington, DC, you have three (3) years from the date of the medical error to file your claim, though this clock can also start from the date you discovered the harm. In Maryland, you have 3 years to file your claim and in Virginia, you have 2 years to file.
To guarantee that you do not miss these important deadlines, you should speak with a medical malpractice lawyer as soon as you can. Once the statute of limitations runs on your claim, you will not have the right to pursue it and recover damages any longer.
If you have been turned away when seeking medical treatment, one of our experienced medical malpractice lawyers can help. We are confident that we can reach the settlement you deserve. Our medical malpractice lawyers have years of experience and have handled thousands of cases in the Washington, DC, area and other surrounding areas. Regan Zambri Long has settled some of the largest settlements and verdicts for medical malpractice in the area, including an $11 million settlement in a medical malpractice case against a health maintenance organization after heart surgery.
Our lawyers often operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning that they are compensated for their services only after you win, and the amount owed is based on the amount you win at trial. Call Regan Zambri Long today or contact us online today for a free case evaluation.