What is an Emergency Medical Condition?
An emergency medical condition (EMC) is one that requires immediate care to prevent serious harm or loss of life. Federal law stipulates that US hospitals must provide EMC-related treatment to ill or injured persons.
Contact our Los Angeles car accident lawyers today if you feel that a healthcare facility has violated this right. Prompt action can help you to get the care you deserve.
When medical care just can’t wait
All of us need to see a doctor from time to time, whether it’s for infectious disease, a minor injury, or a chronic medical condition such as diabetes. Sometimes the need for treatment rises to the level of an EMC. This is often the case after an auto accident, for example.
An EMC is defined as “an illness, injury, symptom or condition so serious that a reasonable person would seek care right away to avoid severe harm.”
The consequences of foregoing care for an EMC are too great to risk. The victim may suffer permanent physical trauma or, even worse, death.
Your right to emergency medical care
Here in the US, the federal government has declared that accident victims have a right to emergency care. It was with this conviction in mind that Congress passed the Emergency Medical Treatment & Labor Act (EMTLA) in 1986. The law makes the following provisions:
- Hospitals must provide care to those presenting themselves in the emergency room: These patients must receive a medical screening exam (MSE) and if needed, treatment for an EMC. This includes care for women who are in active labor.
- The act is binding on all hospitals that receive Medicare funds: This means that virtually all emergency rooms in the country are governed by the law.
- Care must be provided regardless of the patient’s ability to pay: At the very least, the hospital must provide care intended to stabilize the patient’s condition. If it is unable to do so, then the patient has the right to request a transfer to a better-equipped facility.
Sadly, sometimes hospitals fail to give top priority to the well-being of auto crash victims. If you believe that your healthcare facility was negligent or violated the law, then you have the right to seek legal representation from a qualified car accident lawyer.
When the EMTLA isn’t enough
The EMTLA was created to eliminate the practice of “patient dumping,” in which the uninsured were unwillingly transferred from private to public facilities. It was never intended to provide the kind of ongoing treatment that auto accident victims often need.
As you know, the costs of such care can be enormous. What do you do when hospitals fail to live up to their obligations? This can have long-lasting effects on your health and wellness.
That’s the time when the car accident attorneys here at Ellis Injury Law can make all the difference in the world. Here’s what you can expect from us:
- 24/7 availability: Someone from our office is available to speak with you any time day or night, 365 days a year. We’re just a phone call or online message away.
- Cost-free service: We offer complimentary initial consultations as a matter of policy. If we take your case, then we collect our fees only if you win. You’ll have no worries about out-of-pocket expenses.
- The convenience of working with a local law firm: We know that getting around can be difficult if you’re recovering from an accident. That’s why we have offices across Southern California. If you prefer, we can consult with you in your home or even in your hospital room.
- The peace of mind that comes with using a proven winner: Our skilled attorneys have recovered more than $350 million for their clients over the years.
Get in touch with Ellis Injury Law today to discuss your case. There is no fee unless we win.