FAQ's: Your Questions Answered
It is possible for a family to sue for negligence or medical malpractice if a child is injured before, during, or following delivery. Hospitals are often responsible for incompetent care provided by their employees. These employees could be paramedics, nurses, or medical technicians. Unfortunately, hospitals are not always responsible for a doctor’s medical malpractice.
The hospital is responsible (liable) for any employee that hurts a patient by acting incompetently. If the employee is negligent (is not reasonably cautious when treating or dealing with a patient), the hospital is responsible for any resulting injuries to a patient. Not every mistake or unfortunate event that happens in a hospital falls under the category of negligence.
A patient that suffers injuries as a result of a hospital employee performing their normal job duties can sue and the hospital can be liable for damages. For example, if a paramedic employed by the hospital injects the wrong solution into the patient on the way to the hospital, the hospital is liable for the paramedic’s mistake. If a doctor makes a mistake and injures a patient while working in the hospital, the hospital will not be liable unless the doctor is an employee of the hospital. Also, if a hospital employee commits malpractice while under a doctor’s supervision, the patient can sue the doctor. The doctor’s liability is dependent upon whether they were present when the mistake was made and whether or not they had control in in preventing the mistake.
Hospitals have a different type of relationship with doctors than regular hospital employees. While some doctors are hospital employees, most doctors are not. If the doctor is not an employee of the hospital they are considered independent contractors. While hospitals are not generally liable for an independent contractor’s malpractice, a hospital may be held responsible in certain situations. Hypothetically, if the hospital does not explain to a patient that the doctor is not an employee, the hospital can be sued for the doctor’s malpractice. The situation is different for patients injured in an emergency room. Because ER patients are usually time sensitive, hospitals do not always have time to alert the patients to explain that the doctor is not an employee. This can lead to ER patients suing the hospital for a doctor’s medical malpractice.
Hospitals can also be held responsible for hiring incompetent or dangerous doctors, even if the doctor is an independent contractor. That being said, recent legislation has changed the medical malpractice arena when it comes to physician liability. There are parts of the new law that provide that certain colleges and universities that own or operate a medical school or any of its employees or agents providing patient services pursuant to a contract with a teaching hospital are agents of the teaching hospital and are immune from certain liability for torts. Even so, other parties that contributed to the injury, including manufacturers, technicians, and assistants may be a link to hospital or physician liability.
Medical liability is extremely complicated and best handled by an injury attorney. Here at Dan Newlin Injury Attorneys we are ready to review your case and offer free advice and consultation. If your child was injured during or before birth as the result of a surgery, medication, or other medical treatment, it could have been caused by medical malpractice. It is crucial that you find a medical malpractice attorney that has experience in dealing with birth injury cases to make sure you receive all the benefits and compensation you are entitled to. You need experienced and aggressive attorneys like Dan Newlin Injury Attorneys. Call us at 800-257-1822 for a free consultation and to have all your questions answered regarding your injury.