If you suffer medical malpractice injuries in a hospital setting, you may be able to hold the hospital or the individual who caused your injury liable for your damages – and in some cases, both groups can be liable. Here are some of the cases in which the hospital might not escape liability.
Hospital Employs Unqualified Staff
The hospital is responsible for the credentials and qualifications of the staff it hires. A hospital that hires unqualified staff is liable for the injuries the staff might cause. The liability of the hospital is even more likely if an unqualified employee causes an injury that a qualified employee might not have caused.
Consider an example where a surgeon makes a surgical mistake during a transplant operation because the surgeon is not qualified for the specific transplant surgery. If the surgeon is an employee of the hospital, then both the surgeon and the hospital may have to pay for your injuries.
Hospital Accepts Unqualified Independent Contractors
Hospitals do not always employ doctors; many hospitals have arrangements with the doctors that let the doctors operate as independent contractors. In such cases, the hospitals are not always liable for the mistakes that the independent contractors might cause. However, a hospital that lets an unqualified contractor use its facilities is liable for the injuries the doctor might cause.
For example, a hospital may fail in due diligence and allow an unlicensed doctor to work as an independent contractor. In such a case, you may hold the hospital liable for your injuries based on the hospital’s inability to vet the doctor properly.
Hospital Provides Few Nurses
Nurses provide critical services, and hospitals must ensure that they have a sufficient number of nurses at any time. Otherwise, some patients might not get the care need and incur medical complications. In such a case, the hospital’s inability to provide adequate nurses will make it liable for the medical malpractice.
Take an example where a patient fails to get the necessary drugs because a hospital doesn’t have enough nurses. If the patient suffers medical complications due to lack of drugs, the patient may have a case against the hospital for medical malpractice.
Hospital Employee Fails to Follow Orders
If a hospital’s employee fails to follow orders – and the failure leads to medical injuries – you may be able to claim damages. A good example is a nurse aid that doesn’t follow the instructions of a nurse or a nurse who doesn’t follow the instructions of an independent doctor.
For example, an independent doctor may instruct a nurse to give you certain medication, but the nurse accidentally gives you the wrong dosage. Depending on the circumstances, you may hold the doctor, hospital, or nurse liable for your injuries.
Hospital Employee Is Negligent
Lastly, the hospital should also pay for your damages if one of its employee’s negligence leads to your injuries. In this case, you can use the principle of respondeat superior to claim damages from the hospital. Respondeat superior is a legal principle that makes employers liable for the damages that their employees may cause.
Respondeat superior applies as long as:
- The employee caused your injury while they were on the clock.
- The negligent act is part of the employee’s duties.
- The employer benefited from the employee’s activities at the time of the injury.
As the plaintiff, the responsibility is on you to prove the above elements and hold the hospital liable for your damages.
You have a limited amount of time to file your medical malpractice case, so you need to move fast. Contact Attorneys Lee Eadon Isgett Popwell & Owens to review your case and help you chart the way forward. We will help you get compensation – whether from the hospital or an individual medical practitioner.