Hospital Negligence Attorneys Serving NYC and the Surrounding Areas
Being admitted to a hospital is an unsettling experience, however, patients expect to receive adequate care and get well. When hospital employees make errors, however, patients can sustain injuries, particularly in hospitals that are not adequately staffed, or if hospital employees are not properly trained. Nonetheless, it is possible to bring a lawsuit against a hospital that fails to provide a patient with an appropriate standard of care.
At Scaffidi & Associates, our medical malpractice attorneys have extensive experience handling hospital negligence cases. Although hospitals have teams of powerful attorneys at their disposal, and attempt to deny any liability or settle claims for as little money as possible, we leverage our legal knowledge and skill to level the playing field and help our clients obtain the compensation they deserve.
What is Hospital Negligence?
Hospitals have a duty to provide patients with an appropriate standard of care, and negligence occurs when this duty has been breached and that breach causes injury or harm to a patient. Although serious cases of hospital negligence often involve permanent injuries or fatalities, common forms of hospital negligence include:
- Prescription errors and over-medication
- Failing to diagnose or misdiagnosing an illness, disease, or injury
- Surgical errors
- Anesthesia errors
- Retained instruments – sponges, scissors, or other objects
- Birth injuries
- Injuries from falls
- Infections/pressure sores
Because hospitals employ medical staff such as doctors, nurses, physicians assistants, and other medical professionals, a hospital can also be held legally responsible if a staff member’s negligence caused an injury to a patient. Also, a hospital that fails to conduct reasonable background checks when hiring staff members may be held liable for negligent retention or supervision. Additionally, a hospital may be liable for negligent supervision if a patient’s injuries resulted from an employee’s failure to follow the directions of a patient’s physician.
Hospitals also have a duty to ensure that the facility is adequately staffed at all times, and can be held liable for patient injuries that arise from inadequate staffing.
What is Vicarious liability?
Hospital negligence may also occur if hospital staff members or employees fails to meet the appropriate standard of care. In these cases, a hospital may be deemed responsible for their actions or omissions under the legal doctrine of vicarious liability – which holds that an employer is responsible for the negligence of its employees.
Because residents, nurses, medical technicians, and support staff are typically hospital employees, the hospital can be sued when they injure a patient, provided that the employees were performing a job-related function when the injury occurred. If a hospital employee provides a patient with the wrong medication and causes the patient harm, for example, the hospital may be held liable.
It is worth noting that a hospital’s liability is limited to employed medical staff, which generally excludes independent contractors. In this regard, if an attending or non-employee physician 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 attendings or non-employee physicians are often independent contractors. In this situation, a malpractice claim can be filed against the doctor independently. At times, a doctor may also be held liable when a hospital employee causes an injury while under a doctor’s supervision.
On the other hand, a doctor may be considered an employee if: (1) the hospital controls the doctor’s schedule, and (2) the hospital determines the fees that the doctor can charge. Under these circumstances, a hospital can be held liable for a doctor’s negligence. In any event, pursuing a hospital negligence claim requires the skills of a knowledgeable medical malpractice attorney.
New York Hospital Negligence Attorney
The dedicated patient advocates at Scaffidi & Associates have a proven track record of pursuing claims against private and public hospitals. By conducting extensive investigations, obtaining and reviewing medical records, identifying and interviewing witnesses, and collaborating with medical experts, our legal team works diligently to show how the hospital or its employees were negligent.
We believe that people have a right to receive proper care in hospitals, and provide our clients with aggressive legal representation. If you or a loved one has been injured because a hospital failed to provide the appropriate standard of care, you may be able to recover damages such as lost wages, past and future medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other losses. Call our office today for a free consultation or complete the contact form on our website.