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When Are Hospitals Liable For Malpractice?

Hospitals can be held responsible for cases of malpractice when their employees are careless or negligent, or intentionally harm a patient. Whether a doctor makes a mistake in surgery or a lab technician mixes up patient labels, the hospital may be as liable as the employee who made the mistake. We take a closer look at hospital liability in this article.

The first way in which a hospital can be held liable for malpractice is when its employees behave negligently. Situations like these can include technicians misreading lab results, doctors misdiagnosing health conditions, nurses giving patients wrong medications or incorrect dosages, surgeons operating on wrong sites, and various other mistakes made by the hospital’s employees.

It is important to note that some medical professionals are independent contractors, which means they are not direct employees of the hospital. In cases such as these, a medical malpractice lawsuit can be brought against the contractor and not the hospital. However, there are cases in which a court will review the employment arrangement between the hospital and the medical contractor and determine if that contractor was actually paid and treated like an employee. These situations are complicated, so it is best to speak with a lawyer directly about your case.

The second way in which a hospital could be held liable for malpractice is due to direct hospital negligence. Some examples of this can include negligence in hiring employees, failure to supervise employees, failure to fire unsafe employees, failure to keep up with an employee’s licensing requirements and continuing education, failure to adopt proper safety protocols, failure to staff the hospital adequately, and losing or mixing up patient records. Even old and broken down equipment that contributed to patient harm could be considered hospital liability since hospitals are supposed to routinely check and repair their equipment.

If you suffered a medication error, surgical error, or harm as a result of hospital negligence, you may have a legal claim against the hospital for medical malpractice. To discuss your case in greater detail, we would like to offer you a free, no-obligation consultation. Call us today or contact us online, and we will help you understand your rights.