Medical Malpractice: Hospital Staff Error

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Are Hospital Staff Liable for Medical Malpractice?

Subject to some exceptions, a hospital can be held liable for the medical malpractice of its employees. Medical malpractice usually involves a doctor’s error in performing a medical procedure like a failed surgery. But it can also concern the act or failure to act of any nurse, assistant, or technical specialist employed by the hospital.

Hospitals can be dangerous places for patients due to the presence of diseases, powerful pharmaceuticals, and strange equipment. In such an environment, errors by nurses or staff members can result in a real likelihood of bodily harm. For example, if a nurse forgets to put up the side rail on a hospital gurney, the patient might fall and receive a serious injury.

Can I Still Recover for Ordinary Carelessness?

Yes, hospitals are still responsible for maintaining a level of care while having their property open to the public. Although general negligence might give more compensation than medical malpractice, the standard of care for negligence is typically much lower. Doctors, as professionals, are expected to be more knowledgeable and exercise more care in their work than other people working at the hospital.

Although it may seem counter-intuitive, in many states, a patient injured in a hospital slip-and-fall can recover more money than a patient injured due to a doctor’s mistake. Medical malpractice caps often limit compensation in medical malpractice cases; negligence cases often do not have these limits.

Do I Need an Attorney?

If you or a loved one has been injured by hospital staff negligence, you should speak to a personal injury attorney immediately to learn more about the value of your case and what types of legal remedies may be available to you.

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Last Modified: 08-06-2013 12:33 PM PDT

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