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When is a Hospital Liable for Negligence?

By November 22, 2016June 13th, 2019Medical Malpractice
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St. Louis Malpractice Attorneys Holding Hospitals Liable for Negligence

You visit a hospital to get better, not worse. A hospital is supposed to be staffed with world-class physicians, trained nurses, and healthcare professionals ready to make you well again. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for a patient to leave a hospital worse than when how he or she originally entered. With hospitals flooded with patients, sometimes the standard of care is not what it should be.

Hospitals that fail to provide a reasonable standard of care to their patients, however, can be held legally liable for any injuries or deaths that may occur. Also, they could be considered vicariously liable for the injuries that are the result of a physician or healthcare workers’ negligence.

Negligence on a Hospital Level

Hospitals hire their medical staff, including physicians, technicians, lab specialists, nurses, and administrative team members. If the hospital did not make inquiries during the hiring process, or they hired health care professionals who are inadequate, they could be considered negligent.

Also, a hospital should monitor the level of care that their team provides. If they find that a staff member is underperforming, they should train them or terminate them. When hospitals do not monitor their staff, they can also be held liable for injuries that may occur. Even if an employee fails to follow instructions from a physician, vicarious liability would apply.

Lastly, hospitals are required by law to carry enough medical staff to handle the number of patients that their facility receives. If they do not staff their hospital adequately and a patient is harmed due to limited staff, the hospital could be considered negligent.

Holding a Hospital Responsible Via Vicarious Liability

Vicarious liability is a complicated legal term. While a hospital is responsible for their staff, some hospitals purposely hire independent contractors to avoid vicarious liability. If a healthcare worker in the hospital is not an employee, the hospital does not have to follow the same procedures as they would for a healthcare worker who is an employee.

Regardless of the employment status, a hospital can still be sued for vicarious liability for any acts or omissions of medical contractors whom they employ. This includes contractors who work in operating rooms, emergency rooms, or rent office space in the facility.

Speak with a Medical Malpractice Attorney

Holding a hospital liable for the actions of their staff or their own actions is a highly complex process. Contact a medical malpractice attorney at Carey, Danis & Lowe Attorneys at Law today to explore your options. We can help identify if vicarious liability applies and hold physicians, as well as medical professionals, accountable for their actions.

Speak with us today over a no-obligation consultation by calling 877-678-3400. You can request your consultation appointment by completing our online contact form.