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Determining Responsibility for Hospital Negligence

When a patient receives improper treatment in a hospital, that person may have the option of suing for negligence. Determining who is liable for a patient’s injuries depends on many variables, and it is important to distinguish between who might be liable for hospital negligence claims.

Hospitals and hospital employees

If a hospital employee is negligent, the hospital as an entity may be held responsible. Nurses and, in some cases, medical technicians and paramedics are considered hospital employees. If the hospital employee was performing a work-related task when a patient was injured, the hospital can be sued for the damages.

However, if the nurse or hospital employee were performing a health care-related task that resulted in injury, such as giving a patient medication, damages resulting from the act would be considered medical malpractice, not hospital negligence.

Hospital doctors

In most cases, if a doctor is an independent contractor, a hospital is not considered liable for medical malpractice charges filed against him or her.

Doctors may be considered employees of the hospital in certain cases, typically when a hospital controls areas of the doctor’s work including his or her shifts, vacation time, or treatment fees. Sometimes the employment status of the doctor must be decided in court. If a doctor is determined to be a hospital employee, the hospital can be sued for the doctor’s negligence or malpractice.

Hospitals may also be liable for continuing to give responsibility to a doctor who the hospital knows is incompetent. If a doctor was previously able to perform the functions of his or her job, but can no longer safely do so, the hospital may be sued by a patient who has been injured by the doctor.

If you have been injured due to negligence in a hospital or clinic, consult a knowledgeable Atlanta medical malpractice attorney with McMenamy Law LLC.