Are You Legally Entitled to Interpreter Services in Hospitals?

During a stressful visit to the hospital, it’s often challenging for patients to keep track of their providers’ questions, instructions, and recommendations. It’s even more challenging, if not downright impossible, for people with limited to no English proficiency to participate in their own healthcare. This is why New York hospitals and all those receiving federal funding are legally required to provide interpreter services when they are needed to allow equal access to healthcare services. A violation of this requirement might constitute medical malpractice in the situation concerning informed consent to treatment.

Some states have also passed legislation to ensure all patients’ right to understand and participate in their own healthcare. California leads the nation with the number of these laws on the books. But unfortunately, many physicians are still unfamiliar with the mandate to provide interpreter services and language access can be implemented differently from hospital to hospital.

The medical negligence lawyers of Pegalis & Erickson, LLC handle a wide range of medical malpractice cases, including emergency room errors, birth trauma, wrongful death, and medication errors. Patients are invited to call (516) 858-2194 to speak with an attorney at our medical malpractice law firm in New York.

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