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When can I sue a hospital for medical malpractice?

When a patient suffers an injury while being treated in a hospital, it may be prudent to consider filing a medical malpractice suit. Depending on the nature of the injury and the ill effects that the patient suffers, a medical malpractice suit may lead to financial compensation for the patient. This could come from not only the doctor or medical staff that attended the patient, but might also be from the the hospital itself and/or the manufacturers of medical devices that caused or contributed to the patient's condition.

A hospital is not automatically liable every time that a patient suffers harm, but may be liable in certain circumstances when a patient proves that the hospital's actions or negligence contributed to an accident or caused it directly. A hospital may also hold liability if it employs the party who commits the harm.

If you believe that your own experience may justify a malpractice suit against a hospital, be mindful to carefully examine the relevant laws to determine how best to approach the matter while keeping your rights protected.

Negligence by a hospital

When a hospital employs a physician, it has the responsibility to make sure that the physician is actually qualified to practice. This includes checking the the authenticity of the physician's credentials and ensuring that no physicians or other hospital personnel work in the hospital who are not qualified and capable.

A lawsuit may arise if a hospital employs a physician who is not properly licensed, or who lies about his or her credentials and education. Similarly, if a doctor develops a condition that compromises his or her ability to practice, the hospital has the responsibility to remove the doctor to avoid harm to patients.

Vicarious liability for a hospital

Even if the hospital does not commit some act of negligence, it is also possible to sue a hospital under then principles of vicarious liability. Vicarious liability dictates that employers are responsible for the actions of employees, provided that the employees' actions are within the scope their employment.

While hospitals do not factor into every malpractice lawsuit, if a doctor commits an act within the duties he or she regularly performs and that action harms a patient, it is common to name the hospital where the malpractice allegedly took place as a defendant in a lawsuit.

Consider your options carefully

Don't wait to begin building your claim if you have grounds to believe a hospital holds some liability in your own injury. With a carefully built case, you can use the strength of the law to fight for fair compensation for your injuries and keep your rights secure.

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