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Can a Hospital be Held Responsible for Medical Malpractice?

Posted by David Nemeroff | Nov 06, 2013 | 0 Comments

A victim of medical malpractice can be left with heavy financial burdens due to medical expenses and an inability to work. A medical malpractice victim may also be left with emotional pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life that may not have occurred had he or she received proper treatment in the first place.  If you received negligent care while being treated at hospital, you may be left wondering what parties can be held accountable and what damages you may be able to receive.

Generally, a hospital can be held accountable for the negligent actions of its staff members. If someone is an employee at a hospital, the hospital is can he held liable for damages if that employee hurts a patient by acting incompetently. In short, if the employee does not exercise reasonable caution when treating or dealing with a patient, the hospital can responsible for any resulting injuries to the patient.

Nurses, medical technicians and paramedics are typically considered hospital employees. Therefore, as long as the employee was acting within the scope of their job when they injured the patient, the patient can file a claim against the hospital. For example, if a nurse administers the wrong medication and that mistake results in an injury to a patient, then the hospital can be held responsible for the nurse's negligent actions.

Additionally, if a hospital employee commits malpractice while under a doctor's supervision, the patient can sue the doctor. Whether an employee is under the supervision of the doctor when the injury occurred depends on whether or not a doctor was present at the time and whether or not the doctor could have been able to prevent the action.

If a doctor acts negligently or carelessly and injures a patient while working in the hospital, the hospital will not be liable for the doctor's negligence unless the doctor is an employee. Generally, doctors are considered independent contractors. This means that the hospital cannot be held responsible for the doctor's medical malpractice, even if it occurred within the hospital. Whether or not a doctor is a hospital employee depends on the nature of his or her relationship with the hospital. It is typically stated in hospital admission forms that a doctor may not be employed by the hospital.

Medical malpractice claims typically involve complex legal and medical issues. If you've been injured due to the negligence of a medical professional, you need the assistance of an experienced Chicago medical malpractice attorney. Contact Nemeroff Law Offices at 312.629.8800.

About the Author

David Nemeroff

In January 2012, David Nemeroff was voted one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the entire state of Illinois (out of 83,000 lawyers) by Super Lawyers Magazine...

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