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Can I include a hospital in a medical malpractice claim?

If you seek medical care at a hospital only to emerge with further unnecessary injuries, it is likely that you should pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit. However, depending on the specifics of your injury experience, a number of liable parties may be on the hook in your claim, including the hospital where your injury occurred.

While hospital are not always liable in medical malpractice claims, they may reasonably hold some responsibility for your injuries in a number of ways. Be sure to carefully examine the specifics of your injury to determine a strong strategy you can use to seek full compensation and protect your rights.

Negligent staffing and maintenance

In some instances, avoidable injuries occur because a hospital does not meet the proper staff requirements or maintenance standards necessary to keep patients safe. This may affect every aspect of a hospital adversely, from issues of cleanliness and malfunctioning equipment to scarcity among nurses on the floor in a given shift.

A hospital may also hold responsibility if you suffered harm at the hands of someone who was not technically or practically qualified to provide the care you received. Hospitals must maintain rigorous recruitment standards and vet candidates carefully. If you received care from someone who did not have the proper training and was hired in spite of this, the hospital may face negligence liability.

Hospital liability for employees

Just like most other employers, a hospital holds a certain amount of liability for the actions of its employees. If the individual who caused your injury is an employee of the hospital, you may have grounds to sue the hospital through vicarious liability, which is the legal principle that establishes an employer's liability for its employees' actions.

However, it is important to note that this is an area where employee classifications matter immensely, because many hospitals may attempt to get around this liability by classifying many of its physicians as independent contractors. While this is a common practice in the industry, it does not always hold up in court, so it is always worth exploring this possibility if you run up against it.

Protect your rights with careful planning

As you consider your next move, you should carefully examine your experience through the eyes of the law, to make sure that you understand the all the tools you have available and rights you have to protect. With a strong legal strategy, you can assess your options fairly and keep your rights secure.

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