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When can you sue the hospital for medical malpractice?

On Behalf of | Mar 14, 2023 | Medical Malpractice

From a routine check-up to an emergency visit to the ER, we visit the doctor’s office for a variety of reasons. No matter your reason for visiting the doctor’s office, you expect everything to go on as smoothly as possible so you can return home and carry on with your life. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for a healthcare provider to make an unacceptable mistake while treating you. When these mistakes lead to injury, you may pursue the doctor who treated you for damages through a medical malpractice claim.

But depending on the circumstances that lead to your injuries, you may hold the hospital, rather than the doctor, liable for medical malpractice. Here are instances when you can sue the hospital for medical malpractice:

The hospital is liable for its employee’s actions

Per the legal doctrine of “respondeat superior,” the hospital is typically responsible if an employee’s actions result in injury to the patient. Simply put, if the healthcare provider (who is employed by the hospital) fails to act in a reasonable manner when handling a patient, the employer (which is the hospital) will ideally be on the hook for the resulting harm to the patient.

The hospital knowingly hired and retained an incompetent staff

If the hospital grants staff privileges to an incompetent or dangerous doctor or nurse, then the facility will be liable for injuries occasioned by the healthcare provider’s actions. The hospital will also be held liable if they knew a previously safe doctor had since been declared dangerous. For instance, if a doctor loses their practice license due to alcohol and substance abuse, and the hospital knows about it, then a patient who is injured by that doctor can have a compelling case against the hospital rather than the dangerous doctor in question.

Protecting your rights

When you suffer an injury at the hands of a healthcare provider, one of the first things you will need to establish is who is liable. Understanding who is at fault is key to pursuing a successful medical malpractice claim.