Mistakes happen all the time. However, when those mistakes are committed by healthcare providers while in the line of duty, the consequences can be far-reaching. If you or someone you love sustains injuries while receiving treatment, you may be eligible for compensation through a medical malpractice claim.
To file a successful claim, however, you need to sue the right party. And this is where the question of whom to sue between the hospital and the doctor comes in.
But first, what qualifies as medical negligence?
Medical negligence occurs when a hospital or a healthcare provider fails to uphold their duty of care to the patient leading to injuries or death. Whereas the hospital would generally not be responsible for an independent doctor’s actions, you can hold the facility liable for medical malpractice under the following circumstances:
If it’s established that the hospital employed the doctor – If the hospital does not make it clear to you that the doctor who treated you was an independent practitioner, then you can hold the facility liable for the doctor’s actions.
The situation is, however, different if you are injured in an emergency room. If you are unconscious at the time of admission into the ER, the hospital may not have the opportunity to inform you that the doctor attending to you is an employee or an independent contractor.
If the hospital hires and retains an unqualified doctor – if the hospital gives staff privileges to unqualified personnel, even if the doctor in question is an independent contractor, then you can hold the facility responsible for the resulting injuries. Also, you can sue the hospital if they know that a previously competent doctor has since become incompetent. For instance, you can hold a hospital that knowingly hires a doctor who is a drug or substance addict to treat you.
Medical malpractice laws are designed to protect patients who sustain injuries due to substandard care. Find out how you can safeguard your rights and interests while pursuing the hospital for injuries resulting from medical malpractice.