Hospital Negligence: Naming the Hospital as Defendant

Posted by on Apr 15, 2015 in Hospital Lawsuits | 0 comments

“Respondeat superior,” a Latin phrase which means, “let the master or superior answer,” refers to the legal responsibility imputed on employers for the harmful or injurious mistakes committed by their employees while performing their job; it is otherwise called “vicarious liability.”

This legal terminology is often applied in medical malpractice lawsuits (especially one based on hospital negligence), wherein the hospital, instead of the doctor, a nurse, or a medical technician or staff, is named as defendant. This move is resorted to by many legal experts due to the amount of compensation sought by the victim; an amount which the medical personnel may not have, but which the hospital’s insurance carrier can surely afford. But more than just the compensation is the message that needs to be raised to the hospital’s owner/s and managers: ensure the provision of quality care to prevent other patients from suffering from injurious mistakes.

Medical malpractice resulting to hospital negligence is one of the most alarming realities in the US. In 1999, the Institute of Medicine published a report titled, “To Err Is Human.” It basically laid down a comprehensive strategy that is hoped to significantly reduce preventable medical errors which, the report claimed, caused the death of as many as 98,000 people every year. Instead of declining, though, the number of deaths only almost doubled as the Office of Inspector General for Health and Human Services stated in 2010 that as many as 180,000 patients in Medicare alone die every year due to bad hospital care.

The most alarming news, however, came in 2013 after the Journal of Patient Safety published a study, which said that patient death due to medical errors number between 210,000 and 440,000 each year. This number makes totally preventable medical errors as 2013’s third-leading cause of death in the US, behind heart disease and cancer – the same conclusion arrived at by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

A hospital can be accused of negligence through many different ways, including, but not limited to, its failure to:

  • Make sure that it hires educated, properly trained and licensed staff
  • Ascertain that its independent contractors or non-employees, such as an attending physician, possess proper credentials
  • Have enough nurses, technicians and other staff which will ensure provision of proper and timely care to patients
  • Keep patient records properly, resulting to mix up or loss of important records

All these negligent acts can very well result to: a nurse giving the patient the wrong medicine or incorrect dose of medicine; overworked and fatigued nurses and other medical staff due to working much longer than they are supposed to; a nurse or a medical personnel failing to follow treatment instructions; a doctor providing medical treatment that results to infection; a medical staff giving medication that causes severe allergic reactions; failure to treat wounds properly; performing surgery on the wrong patient; amputating, or operating on, the wrong body part, and so forth.

Injuries due to hospital negligence do not only cause in patients additional health damages but also additional costly medical treatment, prolonged disability, a longer period away from work which, in turn, results to loss of wages.

Erroneous medical treatments can cause life-changing consequences in the lives of innocent patients and their families. Seeking justice, which includes receiving compensation that should cover all present and future damages resulting from the erroneous treatments, requires the help of a seasoned personal injury lawyer, who is capable of a thorough, objective and intelligent review of patients’ specific cases and the possible consequences of filing a civil lawsuit.

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The Difficulties in Proving Medical Malpractice

Posted by on Feb 15, 2014 in Hospital Lawsuits | 0 comments

Medical malpractice lawsuits are among the hardest types of personal injury cases to win. Although there are many news about people winning their cases against negligent doctors or drug and product manufacturers, but these are not the common results in many medical malpractice lawsuits, generally losing the case is a familiar scene. From surgical errors, hospital negligence, medication mistakes, even to wrongful death, there are many factors that can affect the outcome of a medical malpractice case.

One of the hurdles in medical malpractice claims is proving the negligent behavior of the doctor or attending physician. Most evidences of negligent behavior can be found on doctor’s records, and they can be difficult to decode, and not many doctors accept that they have made as medical mistake that led to a personal injury. Just as breaking down doctor’s records, it can be just as hard to point out the doctor’s negligent actions is the cause of the injury. Most juries believe that medicine itself is a difficult profession, and with so many things to consider doctors often make mistakes or gambles to get a positive outcome.

Another obstacle is finding a qualified lawyers who are both proficient and understands medical malpractice laws. This is a type of personal injury that needs a specific type of lawyer, specializing in medical malpractice. One way to determine a good medical malpractice lawyer is to check if their workload has a significant percentage concentrating on these types of cases.

Before seeking a legal professional for your medical malpractice lawsuit, it’s best to ask  a personal injury attorney about their experience, not only in personal injury but more specifically in medical malpractice cases. The number of cases and the percent on which they handled and won are important things to consider when hiring a lawyer, and get one that you are most comfortable with handling your case. Medical malpractice cases are very difficult, therefore working with your lawyer together can help get better outcome.

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