The hospital admitted your child for a simple tonsillectomy. The procedure went well and you expected to be able to bring your child home in the next day or two. But things started to go wrong. Your child’s heart rate dipped and she went into cardiac arrest and suffered a severe lack of oxygen to the brain.
The attending physician had prescribed the wrong medication. Your daughter has suffered brain damage due to the error. Her future now includes endless medical expenses including physical and occupational therapy.
Your insurance will cover only so much of the medical bills and your income is not enough to maintain your current standard of living while paying the out-of-pocket expenses. You and your family would not be in this situation if the doctor had not made the mistake. Is it only the doctor that is at fault? Can the hospital be held accountable as well?
Medical malpractice affects people every day and the victims should not be the ones shouldering the financial burdens. An attorney that is experienced in medical malpractice cases can advise you in pursuing a claim.
A jury can hold hospitals either directly responsible for their own lack of reasonable care or “vicariously” reliable for the negligence of their employees. This includes doctors, nurses, physician’s assistants and other staff.
Direct Liability In A Medical Malpractice Claim
If your attorney can prove the hospital did not adequately make inquiries into an applicant’s background and qualifications, then the hospital may be directly liable for harm caused by their employee. The hospital failed in its duty to provide staff that was competent to treat its patients.
In addition to providing qualified staff, the hospital must ensure there is enough staff on hand to maintain a reasonable level of quality care. If injuries result due to a lack of qualified nurses, the hospital is liable for the damage.
Vicarious Liability In Medical Malpractice
A jury may find the hospital liable for negligent acts committed by its employees if the employee was operating within the bounds of his or her employment. If the physician that attended your daughter in the hospital was an independent contractor, the court will not hold the hospital liable.
A medical professional’s negligent error should not leave you burdened with a lifetime of overwhelming medical bills. Contact an attorney with malpractice experience for advice on filing a claim.