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Can I Sue a Hospital for Medical Malpractice?

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When a patient is injured due the actions of a health care provider or hospital, he or she may be able to sue the hospital for medical malpractice.

Hospitals are responsible for providing quality treatment to patients and protecting them from unnecessary harm. If you or a loved one was injured because of the negligent actions of a hospital or its staff, you may be entitled to compensation.

Contact the Baton Rouge medical malpractice lawyers at Simien & Simien to schedule a free, no obligation consultation. We will discuss the hospital's responsibility for a patient's care and whether it can be held liable for a staff member or employee's negligence.

What Is Hospital Negligence?

Hospital negligence happens when a facility's failure to uphold the medical community's standards results in a patient suffering injury or death.

This may occur when a health care provider fails to provide patients adequate treatment or hospital staff members neglect to maintain a sterile and clean medical environment. Additional examples of hospital negligence may include:

  • Failing to diagnose a condition
  • Misdiagnosing a condition
  • Fall injuries
  • Birth injuries
  • Surgical errors
  • Items left in a patient after surgery
  • Over-medicating patients
  • Using outdated or broken machinery
  • Providing an unsterile medical environment
  • Employing or hiring unqualified staff members
  • Failing to maintain adequate number of staff members

What Hospitals Are Liable for

Hospitals have a duty to provide a safe environment and adequate care for their patients. If a hospital fails to uphold this obligation, it may be held liable for any resulting harm suffered by the patients under its care. This may include situations such as:

  • Inadequate hiring practices - A hospital may be held liable if it hires incompetent or inexperienced staff members or health care providers.
  • Inadequate firing practices - This can occur when a hospital does not terminate a staff member's employment if he or she is unable to perform his or her job duties competently.
  • Inadequate staffing - A hospital that fails to maintain enough staff members to properly tend to the needs of all of its patients may be held liable for any resulting injuries or death.
  • Inadequate training - Hospitals are required to adequately train staff members to properly care for patients.
  • Failing to protect the safety of patients - Hospitals must have procedures in place to protect the safety of their patients, such as sanitation practices, data retention procedures, communication standards and procedures to properly administer medication to patients.

Is the At-Fault Health Care Provider Employed by the Hospital?

Hospitals are legally responsible for the actions of any staff member whose negligence results in causing a patient to suffer an injury.

However, many health care providers work as independent contractors based out of a hospital, but are not employed by the facility. In this case, the hospital would probably not be held liable if the health care provider negligently injures a patient. However, the patient or his or her family could pursue a medical malpractice claim against the negligent health care provider personally.

To determine if a health care provider is an employee or independent contractor, an attorney will need to investigate his or her employment with the hospital by reviewing the following factors:

  • The extent of control the hospital has over the health care provider
  • Who is responsible for establishing the health care provider's schedule
  • The manner in which the health care provider is paid
  • How the health care provider's fees are established
  • Whether the hospital provides benefits to the health care provider

Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

In Louisiana, patients must file a medical malpractice lawsuit within one year of receiving negligent medical treatment, or the date on which you discovered it, according to L.R.S. § 9:5628.

However, Louisiana has a three-year statute of repose for medical malpractice lawsuits. This means you must bring your claim within three years from the date on which the medical error occurred, regardless of when it was discovered.

Furthermore, there is a one-year statute of limitations for medical malpractice lawsuits resulting from a patient's death. This one-year deadline begins on the date the victim died due to a medical error.

To learn more about Louisiana's statute of limitations and how long you have to file a lawsuit, contact an attorney to schedule a free, no obligation consultation.

Contact a Medical Malpractice Lawyer

If you believe you or your loved one has suffered an injury due to a health care provider's error, it may be in your best interest to contact an experienced attorney for help.

Simien & Simien's Baton Rouge personal injury attorneys have represented numerous victims of negligence. We understand how to handle medical malpractice cases and will use our skills and resources to help you obtain maximum compensation for your claim.

We work on contingency, so we only get paid if your claim is successful. Do not hesitate to schedule a free, no obligation consultation to discuss your case.

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