What are my rights if I was forced to wait in the ER while severely bleeding?

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What are my rights if I was forced to wait in the ER while severely bleeding?

Last night, I rushed to the hospital due to severe bleeding and tissue passing because of a miscarriage. Upon arriving, I had blood running down my legs, tissue clots in my underwear and there was blood soaked through my clothes. They had me wait me wait the waiting room for 3 hours before being seen. After 30 minutes of waiting I went into the bathroom and passed about 7 large clots and there was blood everywhere. They got the clots out of the toilet but still made me wait for another 2 1/2 hours before being seen. I do not feel I was treated correctly for the possible severity of blood loss.

Asked on June 11, 2011 under Malpractice Law, Indiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

First, know that you have everyone's sympathy for what was undoubtedly a horrible experience.

Being able to sue depends on two things in practice--first is fault, which in a medial case means that you did not get the expected or standard level of medical care. That might be the case here.

However, in addition to fault, there must be injury--that is, some harm or monetary loss, for which you seek recovery. Simply having a bad experience, no matter how traumatic it was at the time, may not provide the sort of harm that you can recover for, not if you were fortunate enough to not suffer lasting injury and not incur much additional medical costs. If the outcome was good--you have not suffered any long-term or permanent injury; you did not have large additional medical costs--there really is nothing to sue for, since the legal system compensates for actual injuries or losses. You can try to report the hospital or physcian(s) or nurse(s), etc. to the state agency which licenses them; but you probably cannot sue as a practical matter, unless you suffered some significant injury or monetary loss.l


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