Hospital negligence

Understanding Hospital Negligence

March 23, 2016 by James McHugh, Jr.
Understanding Hospital Negligence

Nearly everyone has received care in a hospital. From childbirth to emergency treatment, hospitals have a legal duty to provide patients with a safe standard of care. The best way for hospitals to provide superior patient care is through their employees, but what happens when a healthcare worker is negligent in their duties?

Understanding Hospital Negligence

Hospital negligence is a type of medical malpractice where the action of a hospital healthcare worker negatively affects a patient’s health. Scenarios can include when a healthcare worker fails to act, makes an injury or illness worse, or creates a new injury or illness through their actions.

Because we rely on healthcare workers in a hospital to keep us safe and healthy, it can be particularly devastating to suffer an injury as a result of their negligence. However, there are certain requirements that must be met before filing a hospital negligence claim.

  1. There is a statute of limitations on your claim. In the state of Pennsylvania, you have approximately two years to file a hospital negligence claim. However, depending on the circumstances, the time limit can be altered. If you think you have been a victim of hospital negligence, don’t wait until it’s too late to consult with a lawyer because it will take time for them to assess your potential claims.
  2. The healthcare worker must be a hospital employee, not an independent contractor. It’s common practice for physicians working in hospitals not to be directly employed by the hospitals, and therefore the hospital can’t be held liable for their mistakes. However, a hospital is responsible for the actions of any employee or any healthcare worker with physician privileges.
  3. You’re going to need an expert witness. In order to prove the hospital was negligent, another physician must testify that the actions of the hospital or employee were indeed a deviation from the applicable standard of care and thus negligent.
  4. Keep a copy of all your medical records. A timeline of all medical treatment and conditions will be crucial in establishing negligence.

It’s difficult to quantify how many people have been harmed by hospital negligence because so many cases go unreported. While research to select the safest possible facility and doctor can potentially reduce the likelihood of injury, there is no foolproof way to prevent hospital negligence.

Philadelphia Hospital Negligence Attorneys

If you or someone you love was a victim of hospital negligence, you are not alone. The experienced Philadelphia medical malpractice attorneys at Lopez McHugh LLP have helped many victims recover compensation for injuries caused in a hospital setting. Our consultations are free of charge and are always confidential. Understanding hospital negligence and how you can fight back is important to your recovery, so contact us today to discuss your claim.

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