After Serious Medical Error—Can you Sue the Hospital?
Mistakes occur in healthcare settings every day. If you, or a family member, are seriously injured due to a medical error—who can your attorney pursue for compensation on your behalf?
The Joint Commission is a watchdog organization that researches, develops, and promotes best practices throughout the healthcare industry. The Joint Commission certifies approximately 21,000 health care facilities across the US. Despite the best efforts of facilities and physicians, the industry fully recognizes that harmful medical mistakes still happen. When mistakes occur, nothing can magically return health or life, but an experienced medical malpractice law firm can work on your behalf to recover the compensation you need and deserve after medical injury.
If you are injured through medical error, it is important to speak with a reputable personal injury attorney as soon as the injury is known. Whether as a result of birth trauma, surgical, or other mistake, speaking with a skilled lawyer is important. Your attorney will investigate your medical treatment, obtain medical records, and work to preserve evidence that supports your claim. There is a window of opportunity, called the “statue of limitations” within which you can make a legal claim for your injury—your attorney will track the timing to ensure your claim is filed on a timely basis.
Who is involved in a medical malpractice case?
The parties to a medical malpractice matter are usually those involved in the direct care you received that led to your injury. While this can include a physician, and professional medical service providers like a physician’s assistant, radiologist, or anesthesiologist, it can also include the facility or hospital where you received care.
A hospital can be named as a party to a medical malpractice claim in a couple of ways. As an employer, a hospital can be held responsible for the damage caused by an employee, such as nursing staff, a medical technician, or a resident physician. Referred to as “vicarious liability,” a hospital can be held responsible for the negligent actions of its employees that cause harm to a patient.
Similarly, a hospital that directly employs a physician – or contracts with a physician who has a known history of medical error and malpractice claims – could be named in a lawsuit seeking compensation for the mistakes made by the physician on the basis that the hospital improperly granted practicing credentials to the physician.
The hospital can also be considered liable for harmful institutional processes and practices. This could take the form of inadequate surgical tool sterilization, poor documentation practices, lack of fall prevention protocols, or harmful or dangerous practices used to transfer patients throughout the hospital, among other issues.
Both common and complex, medical malpractice claims are best handled by attorneys with focused experience pursing physicians and institutional defendants. If you are injured by medical negligence, speak with our legal team about your options for seeking compensation.
Talk to us if you are harmed by medical malpractice
The law firm of Schochor, Federico and Staton, P.A. has returned over $1 billion in compensation to clients injured by medical malpractice since our founding in 1984. We serve clients throughout the country from offices in Baltimore, Maryland, and Washington, DC. Contact us or call 410-234-1000 today to set up a free consultation to discuss your case.