Can A Hospital Be Held Liable For Medical Malpractice? - O'Connor Acciani & Levy

Can A Hospital Be Held Liable For Medical Malpractice?

January 4, 2018 | By O'Connor Acciani & Levy
Can A Hospital Be Held Liable For Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice occurs when a health care provider’s care falls below the accepted standard, based on the health care provider's specialty and geographic region. Health care providers like doctors, physical therapists and nurses are often the ones who are held liable for medical malpractice. However, there are times when the hospital itself could be held responsible. The trusted Cincinnati medical malpractice lawyers at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy work diligently to support medical malpractice claims against negligent hospitals. We can gather information to determine which parties may share responsibility for the injuries that you have sustained. We are dedicated to pursuing the compensation you need and deserve after medical malpractice.

Hospital’s Liability For The Negligence Of Its Employees

A hospital can be held liable for the negligence of its employees through the legal concept of vicarious liability, which holds employers liable for the negligent actions of their employees, which could include:
  • Physicians
  • Nurses
  • Physical therapists
  • Occupational therapists
  • Other health care providers
If the individual was employed by the hospital and was completing work-related duties when the malpractice occurred, the hospital may be held liable for the negligent acts of its employee. Some common medical errors the hospital could be held liable for include:
  • Failing to monitor a patient
  • Failing to take a patient’s vital signs when appropriate
  • Failing to consult the patient’s record for important information
  • Administering the wrong type of medication or giving the wrong dose
  • Making a surgical error
  • Failing to properly diagnose a patient
  • Failing to respond to a patient’s call
  • Failing to check a bedridden patient for bedsores or to periodically rotate the patient

Health Care Providers Who Are Not Employees

While hospitals can be held liable when their employees are negligent, many hospital workers are not actually employees. For example, many doctors are independent contractors. They may work in more than one hospital and in their own practice. Even if medical malpractice occurred at the hospital, the hospital itself may be off the hook when a health care provider is an independent contractor. Determining whether a hospital is the employer of the doctor depends on the extent of control the hospital had over this person. Some factors that may indicate an employment relationship include:
  • The hospital determines the fees the doctor can charge.
  • The hospital exercises significant control over the health care provider’s payment.
  • The hospital controls the doctor’s working hours.
  • The hospital exercises significant control over the health care provider’s job conditions.
If a hospital employee commits medical malpractice when a non-employee doctor is supervising him or her, the doctor may be the only one held legally responsible for the malpractice. An employee is under the supervision of a doctor when the doctor is present and has control to prevent the employee’s negligence.

Hospital Negligence

Medical malpractice claims can also be grounded on acts of the hospital and administration. Some ways that a hospital may be held liable include:
  • Negligent hiring - Hospitals are responsible for hiring qualified health care providers who can properly perform their work duties. They must carefully review their background and any history of complaints against them. They must ensure that they are currently licensed and retain their credentials during their employment.
  • Failing to remove an incompetent health care provider - If a health care provider does not have the required skills or cannot competently perform his or her work duties, the hospital has a responsibility to remove the person.
  • Understaffing - Hospitals are required to hire adequate staff to provide proper care for their patients. When hospitals are understaffed, patients may suffer as a result.

Contact An Experienced Cincinnati Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Establishing liability in a medical malpractice case is very complex. If you believe that your injuries stem from medical malpractice, it is essential to seek assistance from a seasoned legal professional who has ample experience in handling medical malpractice cases. Our medical malpractice lawyers have the depth of legal knowledge required to pursue maximum compensation for your claim. We can thoroughly investigate your claim and identify all parties that may be partially to blame for your injuries. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation so that we can learn the facts of your case and you can learn your rights in a medical malpractice claim. If you decide to pursue your case, you will only owe us legal fees if we recover compensation for you.