On behalf of Hastings Law Firm posted in Doctor Errors on Friday, December 20, 2013.

Getting emergency medical help can be a stressful experience, as a person may be filled with apprehension about the unknown outcome of the problem requiring immediate attention. This is particularly true if a person is worried that the emergency medical team may fail to recognize the problem, which could lead to further complications. This scenario appears to have led to a medical malpractice lawsuit in a state neighboring Texas.

In one case, a man has sued the hospital because the hospital’s paramedics reportedly misdiagnosed him as drunk. Thus, they did not take him to the hospital when, in reality, he had suffered a stroke. The man was apparently having an issue with one leg and could not speak. His wife reported that the last time they had an alcoholic drink was 12 hours prior to the incident.

When his wife called 911, the medical technicians reportedly arrived at their location and concluded that his inability to speak was due to alcohol. They then apparently told the couple that nothing was wrong with the man. The next morning, he was taken to the hospital because he still couldn’t speak. Once there, he was diagnosed as having had a stroke. The man is seeking damages for the medical team’s failure to properly diagnose the situation initially.

If a patient’s condition is not properly assessed by healthcare professionals with a reasonable degree of medical care, then he or she reserves the right to sue for compensatory damages — and possibly even punitive damages (in cases of egregious fault). A medical malpractice case can be successfully litigated in Texas if liability is established through competent proof accepted by a court. Any financial damages achieved from such a suit can help to cover any expenses linked to the case, including healthcare costs as well as pain and suffering occasioned by the medical malpractice.

Source: The Louisiana Record, Hospital sued after emergency personnel allegedly misdiagnosed stroke victim as being under influence of alcohol, Kyle Barnett, Dec. 12, 2013