Medical Negligence: Can Patients Sue Medical Facilities for Malpractice?


Everyone trusts medical experts and facilities for reliable healthcare services. What if you get injured while being treated? Can you sue the medical facility for negligence and get compensated for the damages you suffered? Generally, the concept of healthcare negligence is complex, and it’s best to seek the help of a professional Grand Junction medical malpractice lawyer.

While medical facilities such as hospitals are usually on the hook for improper medical care offer by staff like doctors, they may not be directly responsible for their employees’ medical negligence. Here is an in-depth discussion of when a medical facility is and isn’t liable for an employee’s negligence.

The hospital is liable for workers’ misconduct

If someone works in a particular hospital liable for incidents of medical malpractice committed by the doctors, nurses, anesthesiologists, medical technicians, and other healthcare providers that are working in the facility. If the employee was handling something job-related, and as a result, a patient was injured, the law allows the patient to sue the medical facility for damages.

For instance, if a registered nurse hired by a hospital administers the wrong medication to a patient who ends up suffering harm, the hospital can be held liable for the nurse’s negligence. However, if a doctor makes a mistake that harms a patient while working in a hospital, the facility will not be held liable for the doctor’s actions unless he or she is an employee.

Additionally, if a hospital employee makes a mistake while under the supervision of a doctor and a patient is injured, the doctor can be sued for damages. That means the hospital might be off the hook. To determine if the worker was under supervision, it’s best to find if a doctor was present when the employee committed the mistake and whether or not the doctor had control over the worker’s malpractice.

For instance, a surgeon could be held responsible if an attending nurse doesn’t count sponges accurately, resulting in a sponge being left inside the patient. This is because the doctor was present when the mistake occurred, and he or she would have prevented it.

Is the medical expert an employee of the medical facility?

This is an important consideration when determining whether or not the medical facility itself can be held responsible for medical negligence. If a doctor isn’t an employee for a given hospital, he or she is an independent contractor. And that means the hospital cannot be liable for his or her medical malpractice even if the incident happened at the hospital, and he or she is officially affiliated to it.

However, a medical facility could be liable for a non-employee doctor’s actions in some situations. For instance, if the hospital doesn’t make it clear to the patients that the surgeon or doctor isn’t an employee for the hospital. Additionally, if the hospital gives incompetent doctor staff privileges, the facility can be liable in case the doctor’s actions harm a patient.

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