When Patients Can Sue Hospitals for Medical Malpractice
You might assume that you can sue a hospital if the care you received there dipped to the level of malpractice and you suffered injuries. However, this isn't necessarily true. You must prove negligence to hold the hospital administration responsible for compensating you.
When Are Hospitals Liable for Medical Malpractice?
Just because medical malpractice occurs within a hospital’s walls doesn't mean the hospital is liable. So to determine when a facility may be responsible for medical malpractice, the following rules must apply:
- Hospital negligence. A hospital is liable for its own negligence. You would need to show that the staff at hospital did something unreasonably or failed to take certain precautions that caused your injuries. For example, if the hospital administration failed to do a background check, or ensure that employees had required licenses, this could be considered medical malpractice.
- Employee negligence. Hospitals are also responsible for its employees' negligence. The key issue is whether the person is an employee or independent contractor. Nurses, technicians, paramedics, and support staff are generally considered to be employees. For the hospital to be responsible, the employee must have performed a job-related duty when the medical malpractice occurred.
- Doctors. Hospitals are not responsible for the medical malpractice of independent contractors. Doctors often are in this category. Whether they will be considered employees or independent contractors depends on the nature of their relationship with the hospital. For example, if the hospital controls the doctor’s working schedule, vacation, and fees, the hospital is more likely be considered the doctor’s employer. Even if the doctor is found to be an independent contractor, there are exceptions where the hospital cannot escape responsibility.
Determining whether a hospital can be sued for a physician’s or other health care provider’s medical malpractice is complicated. You need an experienced medical malpractice attorney who understands the laws governing this to be certain you pursue your claim against all possible parties. If you or a loved one was injured due to medical malpractice, call me today at 888.716.8021 to schedule a free, no-obligation appointment.