Patients who are being admitted to the hospital have a right to expect that they will be provided with adequate care. Nonetheless, many hospitals in Philadelphia and the surrounding counties are inadequately staffed, while others hire poorly trained employees; both of these are leading reasons for hospital negligence. If you have been injured in a hospital setting because you were not provided with the appropriate standard of care, you should consult an experienced medical malpractice attorney.
Cooper Schall and Levy has extensive experience representing victims of hospital negligence throughout the Philadelphia area, including Montgomery, Chester, Lancaster and Philadelphia Counties, as well as New Jersey. We have a proven history of holding hospitals accountable for negligently harming patients and helping them obtain meaningful compensation. When you become our client, you can rest assured will fight tirelessly to protect your rights.
What is hospital negligence?
All hospitals in Pennsylvania are legally obligated to provide patients with an appropriate standard of care. A hospital that fails to do so can be held directly liable for its own negligence, as well as the negligence of its medical staff — nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and attendants — that results in injury to patients.
In particular, a hospital that fails to adequately screen prospective staff members can be held liable for negligent supervision or hiring. A hospital may be liable for negligent supervision if a patient’s injuries were caused by a hospital employee’s failure to follow the directions of a patient’s physician.
In addition, hospitals are also required to ensure that the facility is adequately staffed at all times. A hospital can be held liable for patient injuries that arise from inadequate staffing, such as falls. In other words, hospital negligence occurs when a duty has been breached by the hospital or staff and that breach causes injury to a patient.
Examples of hospital negligence include:
- Failing to diagnose or misdiagnosing an illness, disease, or injury
- Failing to properly monitor patients
- Inadequate policies and procedures
- Surgical errors
- Anesthesia errors
- Retained instruments – sponges, scissors or other objects
- Prescription errors and overmedication
- Birth injuries
- Injuries from falls
- Infections/pressure sores
What is vicarious liability?
Under the legal doctrine of vicarious liability, a hospital may be deemed responsible for the actions or omissions of its employees and therefore found liable for negligence. If a nurse, medical technician, or support person injures a patient while performing a job-related function, a lawsuit can be filed against the hospital. As an example, if a nurse administers the wrong dosage of medication and injures a patient, the hospital may be liable for negligence.
A hospital’s liability is limited to employed medical staff, however, which excludes independent contractors. Therefore, if a doctor makes a mistake and injures a patient while working in the hospital, it may not be possible to file a lawsuit against the hospital because most doctors are considered independent contractors. A malpractice claim can be filed against the doctor independently, however. A doctor can also be held liable if a hospital employee under his or her supervision causes harm to a patient.
On the other hand, a hospital can be held liable if the doctor is considered an employee. Factors involved in this determination include whether the hospital controls the doctor’s schedule and whether the hospital determines the fees that the doctor can charge.
Nonetheless pursuing a claim requires working with a knowledgeable hospital negligence attorney.
Contact Our Philadelphia Hospital Negligence Attorneys
At Cooper Schall and Levy, we have extensive experience pursuing hospital negligence claims against public and private hospitals and medical centers in the Philadelphia area. We know that these cases are challenging since hospitals and their insurers have an unfair advantage over negligence victims. We know how to level the playing field and hold negligent hospital corporations accountable.
By conducting an extensive investigation — obtaining and reviewing medical records, identifying and interviewing witnesses, and collaborating with medical experts — we will work strategically to demonstrate that the hospital or its employees were negligent. Although negligent parties often refuse to settle these claims or attempt to pay out as little as possible, we will fight for the maximum compensation you deserve.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a hospital because you were not provided with the appropriate standard of care, you may be awarded compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, loss of earning capacity, pain and suffering, and other losses. Above all, you deserve justice and our hospital negligence attorneys are prepared to fight for you. Please contact our office today for a free case evaluation.