What Constitutes Hospital Negligence?

Hospital negligence occurs when a doctor or other medical professional fails to properly care for a patient. In other words, their negligent behavior leads to the injury of a patient, an injury that otherwise would not have been sustained.

Employee Negligence

In some cases, it can be a bit confusing to determine who is liable for the negligence of employees. Most often, nurses are considered to be employees of the hospital. Medical technicians and paramedics are also considered to be employees of the hospital. Essentially, if the employee was doing anything related to the job when they injured the patient, then the hospital can be liable.

Proving Liability

In order for the plaintiff to prove that negligence played a part in the patients injury, they must first determine how the case will be treated. If the negligence involved the professional health that the patient was supposed to receive, the case will be treated as a medical malpractice case. For example, if a nurse over-administered medicine, the hospital can be sued for negligence. Medical malpractice cases are typically complex and require some sort of testimony from an unbiased medical expert.

However, if the case involves non-medical related negligence, the case will be treated with standard negligence rules. For example, if an employee fails to put out warning signs when a floor is wet, the injury will be treated as a standard negligence case. This case could’ve occurred similarly in any situation, and did not have anything to do with an erroneous medical treatment. Thus, the plaintiff would proceed with the case as if it was a typical slip and fall. Ultimately, it is up to the discretion of the judge whether the case will be treated as one of medical malpractice or standard negligence.

Doctors

Unlike the aforementioned hospital employees, doctors are usually not considered to be employees of the hospital. This is because most of them are independent contractors, and not actually employed by anyone in particular. Thus, the hospital is not liable for any medical malpractice issues by this doctor. However, if the hospital control the doctor’s hours and sets their fees, the doctor is likely an employee of the hospital. In this case, the hospital would be liable for injuries sustained.

Contact A Medical Malpractice Attorney

If you or a loved one are unsure whether or not your case constitutes as negligence, contact a seasoned medical malpractice attorney. They can help you determine what the case should be filed as, and whether or not you will be able to recover damages.