Can Patients Sue Hospitals for Medical Malpractice?

Being injured due to a doctor’s negligent care may allow you to sue for medical malpractice.  To prove that the care was negligent, it is necessary to prove that the doctor acted in a way that violates the standard of care.  That could be a misdiagnosis, improper treatment, or other accidents that resulted from a lack of attention.  The negligent behavior needs to be the cause of the injuries.  But what about the hospital where you received the care?  Can you file a  medical malpractice suit against them?

A hospital is considered liable for an injury if one of their employees’ negligent medical care was the cause of the injury.  Employees of the hospital are generally nurses, technicians, and paramedics.  If an employee of the hospital injures a patient, then the injured patient can sue the hospital.  That is the case unless that employee injured the patient under the supervision of a doctor who is not an employee.

A doctor is considered an employee of a hospital based upon their relationship with said hospital.  If the hospital schedules the doctor’s working hours, vacation, and time off, then it is more likely that the doctor is an employee.  Another factor that can decide this relationship is whether the hospital controls the doctor’s fees.  Even if the doctor is an independent contractor, there are exceptions to the rule.

One such exception is if the doctor appeared to be an employee of the hospital at the time that care was provided.  That is why some hospital admissions forms contain disclaimers that the treating physician is not employed by the hospital.  Another exception is if the doctor is incompetent and is still allowed to practice at the hospital.  An example is if the doctor is addicted to drugs and the problem was apparent to the hospital, then that hospital can be sued.

If you have been injured in the course of receiving medical care, then you should consult a professional.  They will be able to evaluate your case and guide you through the process.  Contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney in Hinsdale today.

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