Can I Sue a Hospital for Medical Malpractice?

Medical Malpractice

The question is: Can a patient sue a hospital for medical malpractice? The answers are: Yes and no.

If a doctor makes a mistake that causes injury to a patient, the patient generally cannot sue the hospital for the injury. That is because the hospital is, in most cases, not the doctor’s employer.

However, if hospital employees, such as nurses and technicians, make mistakes that cause harm to a patient, such as giving the wrong medication, the hospital is likely open to a suit. An exception may be a hospital employee who causes harm while under the supervision of a doctor. In that case, the doctor may be sued but not likely the hospital.

Doctors who are not hospital employees are known as “independent contractors,” which means that the hospital is not held to be responsible for the doctor’s mistakes that caused harm to a patient. A so-called “employed” doctor has a working schedule controlled by the hospital and charges fees that are set by the hospital.

Under certain conditions, a hospital may be sued for an independent doctor’s mistakes. For instance, a patient was not informed beforehand that the doctor is not a hospital employee. However, this is usually made clear in the admission form. A doctor’s mistake in the emergency room are more likely open to a hospital suit simply because the rush to the ER may not allow time for the hospital to inform the patient of the doctor’s status.

The laws that govern medical malpractice are highly regulated, complicated, and vary from state to state. For anyone who has reason to believe a hospital is liable for his or her injury, the safest and surest answer is a call to a Charleston medical malpractice lawyer who has experience with medical malpractice problems.

Contact the Law Office of Freeman & Chiartas today, for further questions and concerns on this case.