If a person is injured when being treated in a hospital, can they sue for malpractice or negligence? Though hospitals are often held responsible for incompetence by nurses and paramedics, they are often not liable for a doctor’s mistakes. Below is an explanation of when hospitals are and are not responsible for malpractice committed by doctors.
Hospital Liability for Employees’ Actions
If someone is hired by a hospital, that facility is responsible if the employee’s incompetence hurts a patient. However, not all accidents or mistakes rise to the threshold of negligence or malpractice. In most cases, paramedics and nurses are employees of a hospital. As long as the person was within the scope of their job at the time of the injury, the patient and an Injury Lawyer in Fredericksburg VA may sue.
If a doctor’s error injures a patient, the hospital is not responsible unless the physician is employed by the hospital, which is uncommon. Employees under a doctor’s watch can be sued but the hospital cannot. Supervision depends on:
1. The doctor’s presence during the act
2. Whether the doctor could have prevented the act
Are Doctors Employed by Hospitals?
Whether a doctor works for a hospital depends on the nature of the relationship. Though some physicians are employees, most are independent contractors. That means the hospital is not responsible for the doctor’s malpractice even if it occurred in the hospital setting. Doctors are considered employees if the hospital controls their working hours or if fees are pre-set.
Where a Hospital can be Held Liable
Even if the hospital isn’t generally liable for a doctor’s actions, they can be held responsible in certain cases. If it’s not made clear that the doctor isn’t an employee, the hospital can be sued. ER injuries are different. In these cases, it’s difficult to inform patients of a physician’s non-employee status.
When Incompetent Doctors are Retained
Some areas hold hospitals liable if they give staff rights to dangerous doctors, and hospitals are responsible if they should’ve known of a doctor’s incompetence. For instance, if a physician becomes addicted to drugs and the management should have known, an injured patient can bring legal action.
In cases of medical malpractice, it is important to hire an Injury Lawyer in Fredericksburg VA, because rules are complex and vary by jurisdiction. By hiring a malpractice attorney, patients can protect their rights and get a fair settlement.
Contact Johnharrislaw.com for more details