Seattle Hospital Malpractice Lawyers
Hospital Negligence and Errors
Hospitals are businesses that owe an independent duty to patients. Medical professionals, such as surgeons and nurses, can face litigation for their individual medical malpractice. In some cases of serious medical errors that result in harm to patients, the hospital where the injury occurred can be held responsible for medical errors as well. It is possible to sue a hospital or other heath care facility if you suffered an injury because of hospital negligence, or the negligence of a hospital employee, or a hospital ostensible agent.
Hospital malpractice cases can be complex and challenging. The experienced Seattle medical malpractice lawyers at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. have successfully handled these types of cases on behalf of seriously injured victims and their families. Please contact us to find out how we can help you recover maximum compensation for your injuries, damages and losses.
The Element of Negligence
Negligence is the key component of any medical malpractice or hospital malpractice case. Hospitals are directly responsible to patients to use reasonable care in the supervision of health care professionals; to furnish safe supplies and equipment; and to select competent and safe employees. A medical professional is said to be negligent when he or she fails to provide a certain standard of care to patients. The practices of a hospital can be classified as negligent as well in certain situations. Acts of negligence that can result in liability issues for a hospital can include:
- Failure to make sure that every hospital staff member has proper training, licensing and degrees. (Negligent credentialing).
- Failure to check if all non-employees, such as independent contractors, have proper credentials. It is common for attending physicians to only use a hospital space without being an official employee. In such cases, the hospital must make sure that the attending physician is licensed.
- Failure to provide adequate staff capable of providing proper patient care. These types of cases often involve patients who are left unattended.
- Failure to keep proper and adequate patient records or losing these important records.
- Failure to safeguard narcotics or other powerful drugs from abuse by employees.
- Failure to provide adequate and safe staff for patients.
- Hospital acquired infections
Proving a Washington Hospital Malpractice Case
There are several categories of medical professionals who work in a hospital. A hospital can be held accountable for the actions of these professionals:
- Employees - Those who fall under this category are nurses, medical technicians or even paramedics who may be employed by a hospital. If the patient was injured by an employee on the job, then the plaintiff can file a hospital malpractice claim. For example, when a nurse administers the wrong dosage of medication resulting in severe reactions and health complications, a hospital malpractice claim may be filed. Hospitals may also face lawsuits for cases where employees allow a dangerous condition, such as wet floors or trip-and-fall hazards, to happen.
- Doctors - Typically, hospitals are not liable for doctors' medical negligence because a majority of doctors are independent contractors. However, there are cases where doctors are hospital employees or agents. If a hospital controls the doctor's work hours or sets his or her fees, then, it often means that the doctor is an employee or would be considered an ostensible agent in court. If the doctor is an employee or agent, the plaintiff patient can sue the hospital for medical malpractice.
- Hospital negligence - Almost hospitals are either for-profit or nonprofit corporations. A hospital has a duty to do background checks of employees and hire doctors, nurses and technicians who are competent. A hospital, as a corporation, is usually responsible for any corporate negligence.
Contacting an Experienced Hospital Malpractice Lawyer in Seattle
The same elements of a medical malpractice case must be proved in a hospital malpractice case as well. The experienced Seattle hospital malpractice attorneys at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. work diligently to help patients hold hospitals accountable for their negligence and wrongdoing. We understand the severe physical, emotional and financial hardships patients face in such circumstances. Contact us at (888) 228-3860 to schedule your free and comprehensive consultation.
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