Hospitals can, in some situations, be liable for the negligence of their employees, including nurses, medical assistants, paramedics and technicians. If the employee in question in a malpractice claim was performing a job-related act when the patient suffered an injury, there may be an opportunity to sue the hospital for the expenses and pain and suffering incurred as a result.
Any negligence case at a hospital that involves professional health care issues, such as a nurse administering medication that caused an injury or a surgeon being guilty for some type of surgical error, will be treated as a case of medical malpractice.
In many cases, the hospital is responsible for injuries if it gives staff privileges to incompetent or dangerous doctors. The hospital may also be responsible if it is demonstrated that the hospital should have had knowledge that a doctor who was previously safe had become incompetent or dangerous. For example, if a hospital knew about a doctor developing an addition to drugs and either knew about it or should have known about it, the patient can sue the hospital for allowing that doctor to treat them if the doctor caused injuries.
However, it’s also important to note that doctors are not necessarily employees of hospitals, unlike nurses or other medical technicians. Many doctors are independent contractors. A doctor could be an employee of the hospital if he or she has working hours or vacation time set by the hospital or if the hospital sets limits on the fees that the doctor can charge. This is beginning to change, but it’s still worth considering as you prepare a hospital negligence lawsuit.
For more information about how to prove hospital negligence in medical malpractice claims, speak with a dedicated injury lawyer at McMenamy Law, LLC in Atlanta.