Once every few years, the American College of Emergency Physicians releases a state-by-state report card. The 2014 report came out in late January. In it, Colorado ranked relatively highly compared to other states. But, ranking well may have been more of an indication of low standards for medical care in other states than particularly high ones in Colorado. While Colorado placed fifth in the national rankings, it only achieved an overall grade of C+, with many areas highlighted for improvement.
Access to emergency care a problem area in Colorado
Colorado seemed to have a particular problem with emergency room care. In the category of Access to Emergency Care, the state ranked 22nd in the nation, with a letter grade of D+. Among the problems in the state's emergency departments were boarding challenges and overcrowding. In a crowded, rushed environment, emergency room errors are more likely to occur, putting Colorado patients in emergency departments at risk of suffering harm from a medical mistake.
Another problematic area for Colorado in the report card was Disaster Preparedness. As with Access to Emergency care, Colorado placed 22nd in the nation in this category. However, the state received a higher letter grade in Disaster Preparedness: C.
Of course, with an overall fifth place ranking, there were some categories in which the state performed strongly. Colorado placed first in the nation in the report card category of Medical Liability Environment. There were a number of factors that went into this ranking. One of the most important was a Colorado law the permits health care providers to apologize to patients without those apologies being admissible as evidence in a medical malpractice lawsuit.
This law can actually be a good thing even for patients injured by medical malpractice. In states where apologies can be introduced in court as a form of admission of guilt, negligent medical providers simply remain silent. The proceeds of a medical malpractice suit aside, simply hearing a doctor, a nurse or some other health care professional say that he or she is sorry can be cathartic for patients and their family members.
If you have been harmed by medical malpractice, talk to a Colorado lawyer today
If you may have been harmed by medical malpractice, it is important to get in touch with a Colorado medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. Data collected for the American College of Emergency Physicians report card indicated that the average medical malpractice award payment in Colorado is $246,670 - an amount that could have a huge impact in helping a person move on with his or her life in the wake of suffering a serious injury at the hands of a medical provider.
Of course, that figure is only an average, and the amount you may be entitled to recover depends on the unique facts and circumstances of your case. Talk to a Colorado medical malpractice attorney today to learn more about your right to compensation and to begin building your case.