When are hospitals liable for malpractice?

Frequently Asked Questions

A skilled hospital accident lawyer Rockville, MD residents trust has the answers

hospital accident lawyer Rockville MDAny experienced hospital accident lawyer Rockville, MD residents trust knows all too well that medical malpractice lawsuits are notoriously complex and stressful for injured victims. Because the financial stakes tend to be higher, defendants in medical malpractice cases are more likely to fight the allegations and therefore it can take a long time to reach a settlement. Furthermore, there are several parties that might have played a part in the incident, which means that one or more parties could be held legally liable. Determining which party or parties could potentially be held liable in a lawsuit is the first step. When the incident occurred in a hospital or in a hospital-affiliated clinic, the hospital itself might be a potentially liable party. This can benefit the patient because a hospital may be able to pay a higher settlement than a small medical practice can.

Vicarious Liability in Hospitals

A trusted hospital accident lawyer in Rockville, MD may inform you that many doctors and surgeons who work in hospitals are actually independent contractors or employees of outside medical groups who are licensed to work in the hospital. This is often for reasons related to liability. If a doctor makes a mistake while treating a patient, the hospital might be able to argue that it’s not liable for the error because the doctor is not directly employed there.

However, there are some situations where a hospital might be vicariously liable for the actions of an employee. Vicarious liability refers to when a party (usually a business or organization) is held responsible for the negligence or wrongdoing of someone else (usually an employee). A hospital accident lawyer in Rockville, MD may suggest that nurses and other medical staff are usually directly employed by hospitals, so it’s more common that the hospital will be held vicariously liable if one of these caregivers displayed negligence.

Hospitals might also be held liable if they hired an independent contractor (such as a doctor or surgeon) but failed to investigate the individual’s credentials to ensure that he/she was competent. If a hospital knew or should have known that a contracted worker was incompetent, then the hospital might be liable. This can be very difficult to prove, especially without a medical malpractice lawyer.

Why is it so hard to prove fault in medical malpractice cases?

Any good hospital accident lawyer in Rockville, MD will tell you that when a patient goes in for a medical treatment, no matter how minor, there is always some level of risk involved. Patients are responsible for understanding that a certain amount of risk is unavoidable in the medical world. The vast majority of problems that result from medical treatment are problems that were either unavoidable or unpredictable, and therefore these problems don’t qualify as malpractice. The defining factor of a malpractice claim is when the resulting problem could have been avoided or predicted (and consequently mitigated) if the healthcare provider had exhibited reasonable care.

Furthermore, suing a hospital in particular can be very difficult because these healthcare facilities are usually prepared for lawsuits. They tend to be well-funded organizations with lawyers on retainer, and they recognize that fighting a claim may be less costly than simply paying out what the injured patient initially requested. While it’s possible to sue a hospital for malpractice, it’s recommended that you consult with a hospital accident lawyer Rockville, MD residents trust about this before moving forward.

Do not hesitate to contact Cohen & Cohen today to set up your free consultation.

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