When you suffer an accident on the road or another medical crisis, the quality of care you receive in the immediate aftermath can make the difference between life and death, and between permanent and temporary injuries. Inadequate emergency care leads to greater long-term financial and emotional costs.
ABC 4 News of Charleston reported a 2014 study conducted by the American College of Emergency Physicians that looked at the quality of emergency medical response, public health initiatives and disaster preparedness across different states in the US. The results are a bit grim for South Carolina, which falls in the bottom half of the states for these various measures.
What are some of the vulnerabilities that South Carolina residents face?
- The state has high rates of fatalities on the road for vehicular drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians.
- Hospital bed surge capacities are low compared to other states. This means that if there’s a mass emergency, such as a major industrial accident, natural disaster, or huge pileup on the freeway, hospitals often don’t have the capacity to handle a sudden influx in patients.
- There’s a relatively low rate of doctors accepting Medicare given the number of patients who carry that insurance and need medical services.
Although there have been some notable improvements in patient safety since 2009, there’s still much room for improvement.
Where does this leave South Carolina residents?
In part because of South Carolina’s relatively low performance on these measures, patients often suffer from medical conditions that either go undiagnosed entirely or where the treatment is delayed for too long. State residents often aren’t informed of serious public health risks and are exposed to unsafe conditions where they live, work and commute.
As a result, residents may be struggling with unexpectedly high medical bills and may find themselves fighting insurance companies to obtain coverage. Their poor health could have resulted from someone else’s negligence, in which case they need an advocate to help them receive enough compensation to cope financially and emotionally.
If you’re facing such circumstances, don’t hesitate to contact our Greenville, South Carolina personal injury lawyers. An experienced attorney will help you fight for the compensation you need not only as a result of an accident but of any low-quality emergency care you received afterwards.