New urgent care clinics are regularly opening up across our state. While these facilities offer convenient services when you need them, it’s important to understand that, like any medical facilities, mistakes happen. Sometimes, those mistakes are the direct result of a physician’s or nurse’s negligence. When that happens, it’s best to seek guidance from a Louisville urgent care malpractice lawyer, so you can work on receiving the compensation you need to recover and holding the negligent party accountable for their actions.
Urgent care facilities are on the rise. There are well over 7,000 centers in the United States that care for approximately 160 million patients annually. For patients, the clinics are often more convenient than trying to schedule an appointment with their doctor and less expensive and time-consuming than a trip to the emergency room.
If you choose to be seen at an urgent care clinic, it’s important to understand the risks in case you end up with a wrongful injury. When mistakes are brushed off with medical terminology and plausible deniability, you deserve answers and justice. Our firm is committed to pursuing legal action on your behalf.
What Are Urgent Care Facilities?
In order to understand what an urgent care facility is, it’s important to know what’s considered a medical emergency versus an urgent medical condition. A medical emergency is a situation that could permanently impair or endanger a patient’s life. When life-threatening situations arise, it’s always best to call 911 and seek treatment immediately. Situations that are considered emergencies include:
- Compound fractures
- Knife or gunshot wounds
- Heavy, uncontrolled bleeding
- Serious head, neck, or back injury
- Severe chest or abdominal pain
- Heart attack or stroke symptoms
- Suicidal or homicidal feelings
An urgent medical condition, on the other hand, is not life-threatening, but still requires care within 24 hours. Examples of urgent medical conditions include:
- Accidents and falls
- Diagnostic services
- Fever or flu
- Minor broken bones
- Skin rashes and infections
- Sprains and strains
- Urinary tract infections
- Vomiting, diarrhea, or dehydration
If you experience an urgent medical condition, you have every right to travel to an emergency room. It’s important to note that you might be seen after patients who are experiencing classified emergencies. When you arrive at an urgent care facility, you’ll check in like you would at the doctor’s office and be seen according to your arrival spot. When you’re called back, you’ll be evaluated, diagnosed, and treated.
If you go to an urgent care facility, it’s important to advocate for yourself as a patient. Some urgent care clinics try to rush patients through as quickly as possible, which can result in mistakes. There are a number of other mistakes that can also happen in urgent care clinics.
Mistakes That Happen in Urgent Care Clinics
As mentioned, urgent care facilities may try to rush patients through the entire process, which involves registration, evaluation, diagnosis, treatment, and discharge. Most facilities even promote that fact that the people they see are out in an hour or less. While this is convenient, it doesn’t mean patients are receiving the best care possible.
The consequences of speed are numerous. For one, you may not see an actual doctor. You may only be seen by a nurse, nurse practitioner, or physician’s assistant (PA). This could be an issue if the medical professional evaluating you has little knowledge of the condition you’re there for.
Another issue caused by the speed is any necessary follow-up tests may not be available or ordered. If, for example, you visit your doctor’s office, they can have a lab work form drawn up so you can have the necessary tests taken to figure out what’s going on. Most urgent care clinics are unable to draw blood, and many do not have relationships with hospitals because they are retail clinics.
Finally, a blatantly negligent facility may be reluctant to send you to an emergency room or provide you with a specialist referral if they think you’ll keep coming back to their clinic.
Other common malpractice instances that occur in urgent care locations include:
- Failure to timely transfer patients to a hospital
- Inadequate attention to patient safety
- Infrequent inspections by regulatory agencies
- Inadequate access to medications
- Insufficient oversight of PAs by physicians
If you believe you were injured because of a mistake made in an urgent care clinic, our Louisville urgent care malpractice lawyers can help you file a personal injury claim.
Pursuing Urgent Care Malpractice Claims
Like with any medical malpractice claim, there are challenges to proving you were injured. When you work with a lawyer, they’ll be able to gather the evidence needed to prove malpractice was the cause of your sufferings. Evidence may include opinions from expert witnesses about your condition and what they feel should have happened and your medical records. Successful claims prove that the medical professional or facility was negligent, the negligence led to injuries, and those injuries led to specific damages.
The majority of urgent care clinics around the country are unregulated. This means that they do not need to be as transparent as hospitals or emergency rooms when it comes to communicating with patients or have their facilities inspected for safety purposes. In order to effectively treat patients, transparency is key. Your lawyer can investigate the facility and determine how the lack of regulations led to your malpractice incident.
Legal Representation You Can Count On
Dealing with an urgent care malpractice claim can be overwhelming, especially when trying to focus on recovery. If you believe you were injured while seeing a physician or other medical professional at a clinic, taking legal action may be the only way to ensure your full recovery.
It’s likely that you’re dealing with medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering as a result of your injuries. We will work with you to gather the necessary evidence and build a strong case on your behalf. This will ensure you receive the compensation you need to recover.
Pursuing a malpractice claim with the help of a Louisville urgent care malpractice lawyer also sends a message to the urgent care clinic that they cannot act negligently when it comes to treating, diagnosing, and caring for patients. To learn more about your legal rights and options as a malpractice victim, schedule a free consultation with our attorneys today. We’ll get you on track to recover your losses and getting your life back in order.