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Medical Malpractice: Hospital Liability

If you are a patient in a hospital and suffer injury in the course of your treatment, your first inclination may be to go after the hospital for medical malpractice damages. However, few people are aware of the complex set of rules and regulations that govern liability in these cases.

First of all, not every injury suffered in medical treatment constitutes malpractice. Of course, if neglect or incompetence is at the root of your injury, there is a strong likelihood that you may have a case of medical malpractice. But when the treatment of an injury occurs in a hospital setting, the hospital is not necessarily at fault in the eyes of the law.

The general rule of thumb is that any harm suffered at the hands of employees of the hospital (orderlies, nurses, EMT personnel) brings liability for that harm on the hospital. What many do not know is that doctors aren't often considered hospital employees. Yes, some doctors are directly employed by the hospital, but many doctors are independent contractors and as such, patients who suffer injury as a result of neglect or incompetence in a doctor's care may have to restrict their malpractice claim to the physician.

Still, there are times when hospitals are indeed liable for damages, even when a doctor is an independent contractor. For instance, when an injury is suffered at the hands of a doctor who appears to be in the employ of a hospital, the hospital may be legally responsible for damages.  This is called apparent agency.  It may occur in an emergency room, where the ER physician may not hold himself/herself out as an independent contractor and may even be wearing a hospital tag.  It may also occur with a radiologist performing diagnostic tests at a hospital but is technically employed by a separate radiology group.  It may also be a hospital nurse or orderly who causes patient harm while under the direct supervision of a doctor (who is an independent contractor).

Because of the complex set of regulations at work in these kind of cases, it is very important that anyone that finds themselves injured at the hands of a medical professional consult with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer like the attorneys at Panio Law Offices. We have a wealth of experience handling these cases and understand the laws that govern liability in these cases.

Whether it's the setting or the practitioner or a specific medication administered in their care, understanding the minutia of details in these cases and how they have impacted your care is often extremely vital in obtaining any damages at all, let alone the full breadth of damages to which you are entitled.

If you have any questions about medical malpractice or bringing a case against a provider or hospital or medical group, call 888.799.7561. We can help.

 

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