Hospital Negligence Lawyers
At Hodes Milman, we have spoken with countless individuals seeking guidance on whether to pursue a hospital negligence case. As one of the top medical malpractice law firms in the nation, our hospital negligence lawyers understand the multitude of questions and the need for clear answers on the topic.
This page covers the basics of what hospital negligence is, details to consider if you’re thinking of taking legal action, and what to expect if you decide you want to file a lawsuit.
If at any time you don’t find your answers here and would like to receive a free, private legal consultation, please contact the hospital negligence lawyers at Hodes Milman at (949) 640-8222. There is no obligation to proceed with a claim, and your call is complimentary.
What is Hospital Negligence?
Hospital negligence is a type of medical malpractice that involves a patient injury or death. It can result from an error, negligence, or lapse in care by the hospital staff. This can include the administration, employees, nurses, or attendant staff, versus an individual physician. Doctor negligence is a different case type, since doctors are not hospital employees but rather contractors in most cases.
Unfortunately, injuries from hospital negligence are disturbingly common in the United States, even with large healthcare providers like Kaiser Permanente.
When a patient is injured by hospital staff, that patient has the right to seek compensation for it. However, hospital negligence claims are hardly straightforward matters. We cover more on this below.
What are Potential Causes of Hospital Negligence?
There are a number of ways hospitals and staff can fail patients that are completely preventable. Many causes can be traced back to a lack of protocol, resources, or facility maintenance. Hospital negligence commonly results from:
- Improperly trained staff
- Understaffing, such as a low nurse-to-patient ratio
- Defective or unsafe facilities
- Unsanitary practices or equipment
- Outdated or defective equipment
- Lost records or test results
- Poor or lack of communication
Oversights like these can result in a number of serious injuries, including slips and falls, birth injuries, misdiagnosis of a condition, or severe infections. Injuries can also be permanent, diminishing a patient’s quality of life or requiring lifelong medical care.
In particular, nursing negligence is one of the most common causes of hospital liability. In fact, nursing negligence is one of the leading causes of birth injuries. Nursing negligence can take on many forms and may involve various types of conduct.
For instance, if a nurse fails to properly assess and monitor a patient, it could lead to severe injuries. Or, if a nurse forgets to fully charge equipment before use on a patient, the equipment could run out of power prematurely and lead to serious medical issues. Missing important changes in behavior or vital signs is another common form of nursing negligence.
Other Liability Issues
Hospital negligence can also involve other issues, such as improper hospital staff administration. For instance, a hospital may have organization-wide issues if their team is understaffed or inadequately trained.
Failure to ensure that all hospital staff and physicians are properly licensed and credentialed can also present major problems. This can create situations where the team is attempting to provide treatment or perform medical procedures that they aren’t actually supposed to be doing.
When choosing a hospital negligence lawyer, be sure to entrust your case to an attorney who knows how to calculate the full extent of your damages.
When choosing a hospital negligence lawyer, be sure to entrust your case to an attorney who knows how to calculate the full extent of your damages. You’ll also want to choose one who can expose where the hospital failure and systematic breakdown occurred. This will be critical in defining and proving your case.
What is Needed to Prove Hospital Negligence?
Because hospital negligence cases fall under the medical malpractice category, the criteria for proving them is similar. The patient pursuing the case has what is known as the “burden of proof.” As the term indicates, the patient must be able to prove the injury occurred because of the hospital’s mistake.
A patient must provide proof that:
- They were an actual patient at the hospital
- The hospital staff provided substandard care
- The substandard care resulted in the patient’s injury — also known as “causation”
- The injury inflicted monetary, physical, or emotional damages to the patient
Proving negligence requires research, experts, and the funds for a thorough investigation. It can be overwhelming for a healthy individual to do, let alone one who is injured and trying to heal at the time.
In a practical sense, this is one of the top reasons to enlist the help of an experienced hospital negligence lawyer. Your attorney will handle all of it, completely removing the burden of proof from your plate. Your only responsibility will be focusing on your personal life and making a healthy recovery.
Due to the multifaceted and complex nature of medical malpractice claims, it is important to hire a lawyer with extensive experience and resources in this area of law. A maximum damages outcome often relies on the ability and knowledge of your legal team. At Hodes Milman, our lawyers have helped countless victims, and we can help you understand and assert your rights.
What Does Compensation for Hospital Negligence Cover?
As with many medical malpractice cases, injuries from healthcare negligence often occur on top of an existing condition, illness, or injury. This can make the damages extensive. Compensation from a hospital negligence lawsuit will cover the costs of pain, suffering, and losses from the hospital’s negligence.
These can include:
- Additional medical expenses
- Lifelong treatment
- More surgeries
- Time away from work
- Childcare expenses
- Permanent injury accommodations
- Loss of a loved one
In hospital negligence cases involving the wrongful death of a family member, a claim can also seek compensation for the following:
- Funeral expenses
- Lost future wages
- Lost benefits, such as insurance coverage
- Lost companionship (also known as “loss of consortium” when applied to a spouse)
Regardless of how your family has suffered, our hospital negligence lawyers will help you understand all you’re entitled to after such an ordeal. Hodes Milman provides personalized attention for each case we handle. You can rest assured that we will carefully evaluate your claim to determine the best course of action for you and your loved ones.
Are Hospitals Liable for the Negligent Conduct of Independent Physicians?
According to Elam v. College Park Hospital, hospitals may generally be held liable for the negligent actions of independent physicians and surgeons who act as members of the hospital staff and avail themselves of the hospital facilities but are neither employees nor agents of the hospital.
The case states that a hospital “generally owes a duty to screen the competency of its medical staff and to evaluate the quality of medical treatment rendered on its premises.” It also states that a hospital can be found liable for “negligently screening the competency of its medical staff to ensure the adequacy of medical care rendered to patients at its facility.”
Furthermore, according to the case, hospitals are responsible for ensuring the “competence of its medical staff through careful selection and review,” in order to reduce the unreasonable risk of harm to its patients.
Determining liability in a hospital negligence setting can be complex, and could sometimes involve several different actors who could be held responsible. Working with an experienced injury lawyer can help ease your mind and allow you to focus on recovering while they handle the legal details of your case.
Contact a Hospital Negligence Law Firm
Hodes Milman is available and ready to assist your family with your potential hospital negligence claim. If you believe you or a loved one suffered because of a healthcare professional’s carelessness, we want to hear from you.
We are privileged to be one of Southern California’s and the nation’s top trial law firms for medical malpractice claims. Our firm has over 100 years of combined litigation experience, and a look at our case results will quickly show our vast experience defending Americans in medical malpractice cases.
Our long-standing reputation dates back to 1982 and has earned us the trust of top expert witnesses, investigators, colleagues, and our surrounding communities. We would be honored to represent your family during this trying experience.
Time is limited to file your claim, so don’t miss out on the chance to seek the justice you deserve. Call us today at (949) 640-8222 for your own complimentary, personalized legal consultation.
FAQs About Hospital Negligence Claims
What are hospital negligence examples?
There are a variety of ways a hospital can be found liable for hospital negligence. Examples might include:
- Lab assistants misreading results
- Administration or support staff losing or mixing up patient records
- Nurses failing to sterilize equipment
- Premature patient discharge
- Hospital-employed surgeons operating on the wrong site
- Any hospital staff making a documentation error
- Nurses or attendants failing to monitor a patient
How long do you have to sue a hospital for negligence?
This is known as the “statute of limitations” and will depend on the state you live in. In California, the time limit for filing a medical malpractice case is either:
- Three years after the date of injury, or
- One year after the patient discovers or should have reasonably discovered the injury
The statute of limitations is based on whichever of these comes first.
Oftentimes, a patient won’t realize they’ve been injured until later after the negligent action has already taken place. A great example of this is when a patient develops complications after a surgical error. Once they are aware, the one-year time limit for filing a lawsuit begins.
However, let’s say the operation was over three years ago and the surgeon made an error during the procedure. In this case, the three-year time limit would apply and the patient would no longer have the chance to seek damages for their injury.
Which factors influence my potential recovery amount?
Compensation from a hospital negligence lawsuit will depend on a range of factors that are specific to your individual situation. These can include:
- Severity of injury
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of earning capacity
- Patient’s age
- Diminished quality of life
If you choose to file a lawsuit, a hospital negligence lawyer will fight for the reasonable projected value of these factors and negotiate the highest possible recovery amount for you.
Indeed, many of these are difficult to place a monetary value on, and your lawyer will understand this. Our medical malpractice attorneys at Hodes Milman can assure you that we will tenaciously pursue the maximum recovery for your losses.
What can I expect in a hospital negligence lawsuit?
First, you will contact us to receive a free, private legal consultation. This is a basic assessment of your potential case and is given to you at no obligation or charge.
Second, our attorneys will assess the qualifying factors for your potential case and provide you with clear, straight answers about whether it is in your best interest to pursue legal action. If it is, you will receive a packet by mail or virtually to secure our law firm for representation. This will also be an ideal time to ask any questions you might have about the legal process. We are happy to help you understand and feel comfortable before proceeding.
At this point, the case is fully in our care. We may reach out to you for clarification on case details or to obtain your permission on certain proceedings. You will be free to focus on your health and well being, while we shoulder the legal burden and go to work for you.
How do I file a hospital negligence lawsuit?
Hospital negligence lawsuits must be filed by a qualified and financially reliable medical malpractice law firm. The process and case needs are similar between the two case types. It is absolutely imperative that you choose a law firm who can prove their skill and fitness with demonstrated case results.
Start today by calling the hospital negligence lawyers at Hodes Milman for your complimentary case review at (949) 640-8222.
ABOUT HODES MILMAN IKUTA
Hodes Milman Ikuta has won $200 million and has over 30 years of experience securing justice for victims of negligence. We are proud to call our clients family and offer them the resourceful, committed and accessible legal advocacy they deserve.
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