Most people don’t go to the hospital for a minor health issue. If you’re there for any length of time, it’s because you have serious issues that require care from a team of professionals. A bad situation can get even worse when those professionals don’t do their best to provide care. If your condition got worse because of what someone at the hospital did or didn’t do, you might have been the victim of corporate negligence.
What Is Corporate Negligence?
Until 1991, if something happened to you at a healthcare facility, your doctor was liable. Hospitals said the doctor or surgeon wasn’t their employee, so whatever happened wasn’t their responsibility. That all changed with the case Thompson v. Nason Hospital, when a judge ruled hospitals are responsible for what goes on inside their walls. The resulting corporate negligence doctrine now applies to cases brought against small or large medical practices. Whether injury occurs in an emergency room, at a spine and joint care center, inside a rehab facility or in a nursing home, the facility is responsible for employees they allow to provide care within.
The unsettling truth is, up to 98,000 patients die in hospitals due to medical errors every year. An estimated 1.7 million infections occur because of healthcare mistakes, medical errors and adverse drug events. If you or someone you love was a victim, we can help.
Negligence and Physicians
The law considers hospitals liable for medical malpractice committed by doctors, nurses, therapists or any other staff members who work directly for the hospital. The court might find healthcare facilities liable for the physician’s role in any of the following:
- Surgical mistakes
- Prescribing or incorrectly administering medication
- Misdiagnosing your condition
- Negligence related to pregnancy or delivery
- Failure to accurately explain procedures, medications and risks
The corporate negligence doctrine applies when your doctor works for the healthcare facility. If he or she is an independent contractor, the issue gets more complicated. Either way, you need the services of a qualified corporate negligence attorney.
When Nurses Mistakes Mean Corporate Negligence
If you’ve stayed in a hospital for any length of time, it probably wasn’t long before you felt like your room had a revolving door. You just want to rest, to get well, and to go home, but you’re constantly interrupted by a steady stream of individuals. Around the clock someone wants to monitor, measure, medicate or ask questions to chart your condition. With so many people involved in your care, sometimes serious mistakes occur that make you worse instead of better.
Nurses have a lot to keep up with, but that’s the job they signed up for. Here are some of the ways they might be negligent:
- Giving you the wrong type or dosage of medication, or not providing medication on schedule
- Providing the wrong type of food or not offering food on schedule
- Not checking you frequently so being bedridden leads to bedsores
- Failing to take or log vital signs
- Not responding promptly to your call for help
- Failing to report concerns or observations to your doctor
Direct Hospital Negligence
The hospital might be directly liable for mistakes that happened when you were receiving treatment. It’s medical malpractice when hospitals are negligent in hiring. For example, if they don’t verify the qualifications of the people they allow on your care team, you might receive care or treatment from someone who isn’t licensed to provide it. If the hospital doesn’t abide by patient safety protocols for sanitation, you might leave sicker than you arrived. Or, if they’re routinely understaffed, workers can’t provide the type and level of care patients need.
Why You Need A Corporate Negligence Attorney
If you were injured in a hospital and you suspect you’ve been a victim of corporate negligence, time is of the essence and the issue is complex. Schedule a consultation with a qualified medical malpractice attorney at Monsour Law Firm for the best care and legal support possible.