Personal injuries occurring at the hands of a hospital’s doctors and medical staff can leave victims struggling physically and emotionally. And new parents may be distraught to realize that a medical professional’s error may have caused their babies injuries. You may wonder how to proceed when your hospital stay or delivery process results in an injury.
Who Is Part of a Hospital’s Medical Staff?
Hospitals work with a wide range of healthcare professionals to ensure the wellbeing of the patients under their care. As a birth injury lawyer at Hayhurst Law, PLLC explains, among the hospital employees who directly contribute to patients’ physical care are:
- Attending physicians
- Physician assistants
- Registered nurses
- Nurse practitioners
- Physical therapists
- Occupational therapists
Hospitals are ultimately responsible for the actions of all employees who are members of their medical staff; however, not every member of the medical team is necessarily an employee. For example, some of the staff members who treat patients in hospitals are independent contractors; therefore, hospitals are usually not responsible for the actions of those individuals.
If you intend to pursue a medical malpractice claim, it is helpful to know the employment status of the medical staff member responsible for your injury. You should be able to sue the hospital for mistakes and negligence of their employees, but you may need to sue an independent contractor separately.
Are There Any Times When It Is Possible To Sue Hospitals for Independent Contractors’ Mistakes?
There are some instances when it may be possible to sue a hospital for medical malpractice by an independent contractor. This scenario often happens when hospitals fail to indicate that emergency room staff members are not hospital employees on their patient intake forms. As a result, patients who assume that their injuries occurred at the hands of hospital staff members have a right to sue the hospital.
At other times, hospitals that knowingly retain incompetent independent staff members who injure patients are also liable for malpractice. An example of this might be a hospital’s administrator turning a blind eye to the questionable behavior of an independent contractor physician whose drug addiction leads to a patient’s injury or inappropriate treatment plan.
Get Sound Advice
Medical malpractice claims are complicated, especially as parents who suspect that their baby sustained a birth injury at the hands of medical professionals. But working with a knowledgeable attorney can help you sort out your options. In most cases, hospitals opt to settle malpractice claims because they don’t want to risk negative publicity. Alternatively, if your case goes to trial, you need to provide indisputable proof of negligence to obtain an award for damages. Schedule a consultation with a medical malpractice attorney who can prepare you for what to expect as you pursue your medical malpractice claim against a hospital.