When you’re in the hospital, whether it’s for a same-day procedure or an extended stay, you’re cared for by a team of medical professionals. It may seem like an ever-changing group, and you may lose track of who was doing what.
When something goes wrong that causes harm, it may be difficult for patients and their families to determine who can — and should — be held liable if they’re considering a malpractice action. That’s just one way that experienced attorneys can help. They can investigate and work to determine whether there was indeed malpractice and who should be named as a defendant in any lawsuit.
Individual doctors and other medical professionals can sometimes be held liable if their actions or negligence violated the reasonably expected standard of care and caused injury or illness. However, the hospital itself can often be held liable as well.
For example, if they hired a doctor or gave them privileges at the hospital without sufficiently checking their background or overlooking previous problems, they could be liable for “corporate negligence.” If the hospital failed to have sufficient staffing or safeguards against errors in place and an error was made that could be linked to that, they could face liability.
Hospitals can also be held liable for any of its employees’ actions based on the “respondeat superior” legal doctrine because they have vicarious liability for the actions or omissions of their employees.
If a patient was harmed by a medication they were administered in the hospital, it may be possible to sue the pharmaceutical company that made it. However, if the drug injury was caused by a doctor ordering the wrong amount to be given or a nurse who administered the wrong amount, the drug manufacturer would likely have no liability. The same would be true if the manufacturer disclosed possible harmful interactions or other warnings, and the prescribing doctor neglected to note that the patient might be at risk if they were given the medication.
Medical malpractice cases can be complex and challenging. Large hospitals can be expected to fight back. However, if you have a case, you deserve to seek justice and compensation.