The hospital is a haven, someplace that those in need of medical help get it. The people who work there are some of the most highly trained professionals anywhere. This is part of the reason why it is surprising when a caretaker from a hospital is accused of negligent practices or behavior.
Doctors and other employees in the hospital make mistakes, but when those errors fall in line with the definition of negligence, they may be liable for all the distress an injured patient endured. Take a look at three examples when a hospital may be named in a lawsuit, even if it didn’t directly contribute to the injury.
1. The Doctor Is an Employee
When a doctor does something wrong, patients can die. There are circumstances when a hospital may share in the doctor’s liability. A hospital is a company, regardless of the way it is run or categorized. It employs people, and it bears responsibility for their actions in some ways. When an employee does not act by the policies and procedures of the company, he or she may face repercussions. If a doctor who is employed directly by the hospital commits malpractice, the company (the hospital) may be named in a lawsuit.
2. The Hospital Conditions Led to the Negligence
Negligence is a broad term, but when narrowed to the scope of medical malpractice, it means that someone’s action or inaction led to the injury of another. A hospital may be named as a defendant in a medical malpractice lawsuit in a variety of circumstances. One example is if the hospital failed to enact or enforce standards of care among the employees. If a policy existed on sanitation and the steps employees needed to take to ensure the hospital was clean, and the hospital failed to enforce this policy resulting in the sickness or even death of patients, it is the hospital that bears responsibility. Unsafe conditions are the number one reason hospitals get sued.
3. The Hospital Knew the Doctor Was a Danger
Not all doctors are created equal. Some are less likely to pay attention to detail and perhaps more prone to make mistakes. If a doctor or other medical staff member frequently makes mistakes, the hospital should launch an investigation and take proper steps to keep those negligent practitioners away from patients. However, if a hospital knew or should have known that a doctor or other member of the staff was a danger to patients and it did nothing, it may be liable should those negligent parties hurt a patient.
A hospital malpractice lawyer in Salt Lake City, Utah is an excellent resource should you have any questions about the liability of a hospital or other medical facility.
Thanks to Rasmussen & Miner for their insight into personal injury claims and hospital malpractice.