Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional such as a doctor, nurse or anesthesiologist provides a patient with substandard care. This substandard care harms the patient by causing additional injuries and/ or pain and suffering. Hospitals are places where patients seek treatment. If they aren’t cured, at least they become better enough to leave the hospital. When a patient is injured at the hospital, they may sue the hospital for negligence.
What is Negligence?
Negligence occurs when someone is at fault for causing an accident. They act in a way that deviates from what a person would in similar or same circumstances. Negligence also applies to hospitals. They have a special duty to provide competent care to their patients. For a plaintiff to prove negligence, they have to show:
• The defendant had a duty. Duty is the legal word for the defendant acting in a manner that avoids harming someone.
• The defendant breach their duty. To breach, or violate, a duty, a defendant must act or fail to act in a specific way.
• The defendant was the cause of the plaintiff’s injury. The defendant’s inaction or action actually caused the plaintiff harm.
• The plaintiff incurred damages. The plaintiff was injured because of the defendant and is owed money.
No hospital is perfect. However, the hospital where you or your loved one sought medical treatment shouldn’t have injured you. You have a right to seek money to cover your injuries and expenses related to the hospital’s negligence. Contact us today.
What is Hospital Negligence?
Hospital negligence is a health facilities failure to provide health care services to patients. The negligence may occur in two ways: direct hospital negligence and hospital staff negligence. Direct hospital negligence occurs when the hospital fails to provide standard medical care to patients. Direct hospital negligence include:
• Failing to ensure non-employees such as attending physicians and independent contracts meet the hospital’s proper credentials
• Failing to ensure its staff met and maintained all required education, licenses and training standards
• Mishandling, losing or unlawfully transferring all confidential patient records
• Not adequately maintaining enough physicians, nurses and staff to ensure proper patient care
Indirect hospital negligence doesn’t involve the hospital failing to do or doing something wrong. Instead, the hospital is vicarious liable for the healthcare provider’s actions or inactions. This is called vicarious liability. Often businesses are responsible for the actions of their employees. Nurses and support staff are generally employees.
Types of hospital negligence are:
• Improper treatment
• Improper dressing of a patient’s injury
• Technician or nurse giving a patient the wrong medication or a dosages that too little or too much
• Health worker giving medication they knew or should have known would cause a patient to have an allergic reaction
• Negligent medical care given during an operation. This includes leaving a surgical instrument in a patient’s body.
• Staff disregarding proper medical and health care standards
• Delayed diagnosis. This occurs when a hospital’s staff should have diagnosed a patient’s medical condition such as a pulmonary embolism in a reasonable about of time, but didn’t.
• Failure to recommend a treatment for a high-risk pregnancy
• Failure to have a female patient undergo a C-section
• Failure to monitor a mother while in labor
• Improper labor delivery techniques that cause an injury to an infant
• Failure to monitor fetal vital signs
The only time a hospital may not be responsible for an employee’s actions is if they acted under the direction of a physician or is a physician.
The first exception is a little tricky. If a hospital commits medical malpractice while under the direct supervision of a physician, the hospital may be liable under two circumstances. The first circumstance is where the physician was present. The second circumstance is whether the physician in question had control to stop the employee from committing malpractice.
A Hospital May not be Negligent if a Physician Negligently Harms a Patient
Whether a physician is an independent contractor or employee depends on their relationship. Non-employees are considered independent contractors. If the hospital doesn’t control a physician’s work hours, vacation time or fees a doctor can charge, the physician is an independent contractor.
When you sought medical attention at a hospital you weren’t wondering whether a physician worked for the hospital or not. You or your loved one trusted the hospital to provide proper care. You don’t have to worry about determining whether a hospital was liable for injury. We will do that for you. Contact us and we’ll get started on your medical injury claim.
You can Sue the Hospital for a Physician’s Negligence even if They were an Independent Contractor
In many medical malpractice claims, a hospital may not be immune from being sued for what an independent contractor does. For example, if a physician appears to work for the hospital, they may be liable. This may occur when a hospital doesn’t inform a patient on admission forms that the physician isn’t a hospital employee. Sometimes a hospital doesn’t have the opportunity to inform patients. This generally comes up in situations where a patient is in the ER. To learn more about ER medical malpractice, click here.
A hospital can also be liable when it keeps a Physician on Staff that’s incompetent. An attorney can claim a physician knew or should have known the physician was dangerous or incompetent.
Damages a Patient Receives for Hospital Negligence
Every hospital negligence case is different. This means the amount of money a plaintiff receives is different. However, every plaintiff in a medical malpractice case has the possibility of winning:
• Economic Damages: This money covers any expenses related to the injury such as medical bills, funeral expenses and lost wages.
• Noneconomic Damages: This is money given to a plaintiff for expenses that can’t be calculated like pain and suffering or loss of a loved one.
• Punitive Damages: This money not awarded to every plaintiff. It’s only award to punish a defendant.
Being injured by a hospital is one thing. Adding insult to that injury is the extra expense, financial burden and pain and suffering is even worse. You deserve to be compensated by the hospital that injured you. Contact us. We’ll work hard to get you the money you deserve.