Can I File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Against a Hospital?
Filing a medical malpractice claim can get a little confusing if you are unsure who you can hold liable for your injuries. Should you hold the doctor that treated you liable or the facility itself? An experienced medical malpractice attorney will be able to examine the specific details of your case and ensure the appropriate parties are addressed in your complaint.
In the meantime, it is always wise to educate yourself when you are in the midst of a legal matter, so take a moment to learn more about medical malpractice claims involving hospitals.
Determining Who is Legally Responsible
Just because you sustained your injury in a hospital facility does not necessarily mean the hospital can be held legally responsible. However, typically hospitals, much like other employers, can be held vicariously liable for the negligent actions of their employees, with the exception of independent contractors. Hospital staff, including nurses, medical technicians, and other support staff are usually considered hospital employees. However, doctors are, more often than not, independent contractors rather than hospital employees. Therefore, if your injuries were caused by the negligent actions of a doctor, your medical malpractice claim would be to be made directly against the doctor instead of the hospital facility.
Exceptions to the Rule
Of course, every rule has some exceptions. If the fault lines are a little blurry, for instance, and you are injured by a doctor whom the hospital should have known was incompetent, you could have a viable claim against both the hospital and the doctor. For example, if the doctor who treated you is addicted to drugs and the hospital was aware of it, or it was obvious they should have been aware of it, you could sue the hospital for their negligence.
In some cases, a doctor might appear to be a hospital employee or it might not be clear if he or she is an independent contractor. Hospitals usually try to avoid this sort of confusion by providing information for patients in their admission forms that state the doctor is not a hospital employee.
That said, it is possible for a doctor to be a hospital employee. A doctor is more likely to be a hospital employee if the medical facility controls his or her working hours and vacation time or if the hospital sets the fees he or she can charge.
Ultimately, to clearly understand which party or parties you can hold liable for your injuries, it would be best to consult with an experienced medical malpractice attorney who has the knowledge and insight to determine fault.
Medical Malpractice Attorneys in Tulsa
If you were injured by the negligent or careless actions of a medical professional, you have a right to pursue fair and just compensation for your suffering and losses. At Richardson Richardson Boudreaux, PLLC, our team of medical malpractice attorneys in Tulsa has what takes to fight on your behalf and ensure that all responsible parties are held accountable for their actions. Do not hesitate to reach out to us!
Get started on your case and contact our law office today at (918) 347-6456 to request your free initial case evaluation. You will not owe us any legal fees if we cannot win your case!