Hospital Errors and Medical Malpractice

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What Are Hospital Errors?

Hospital errors are any mistakes that are committed by people employed by a hospital, and the hospital may be liable for these mistakes under the corporate negligence doctrine. These employees can include doctors, physicians, surgeons, nurses, administrative staff, and clerks. When discussing hospital errors, most people are usually thinking about a medical malpractice claim. However, you should keep in mind that not all hospital errors can necessarily be called medical malpractice.

In order for malpractice to occur, it needs to be shown that the hospital employee was negligent in someway. This means that the employee owed a duty of care to the plaintiff, and they breached that duty of care, resulting in injury or economic loss to the plaintiff. Also, the error generally needs to be related to medical treatment or the performing of a medical procedure in order to constitute medical malpractice.

Thus, not all hospital errors can qualify as medical malpractice. For example, if a janitor employed by the hospital used the wrong cleaning tools, it probably would not be considered medical malpractice because it is not necessarily related to the practice of medicine. However, it would still qualify as a hospital error because the janitor's mistake may still result in harm to someone in the hospital.

What Are Some Common Hospital Errors?

One major hospital error is the failure to inform the patient of all the risks involved in a particular treatment, surgery, procedure, or medication. Another is failing to obtain the patient’s consent to perform a surgery, even after they have been informed of the risks. The two of these together form the basis of informed consent lawsuits.

Other common hospital errors are:

Keep in mind that there are many other different types of hospital injuries that can occur. Also, medical malpractice laws can vary widely by state, which means that these violations may be treated differently according to jurisdiction.

What Are Possible Legal Remedies for Hospital Errors?

Most hospital error medical malpractice claims will result in a damages award to the injured plaintiff. The damages award will likely reimburse the plaintiff for their losses, including:

Finally, some states may limit the amount of damages that a plaintiff can recover for medical malpractice. This is to help reduce the number of frivolous lawsuits that are filed in connection with hospital errors.

Do I Need a Medical Malpractice Lawyer?

Hospital errors can often result in very serious injuries and losses. If you believe that you have been affected by a hospital error, you may need to hire a personal injury lawyer. A highly qualified attorney in your area will be able to provide you with legal advice, and can help you file a lawsuit to recover your losses. Your lawyer can be on hand to represent you during the court proceedings.

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Last Modified: 03-03-2017 10:50 AM PST

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