When you are treated at a hospital, you expect to receive quality medical care. Whether you are visiting the emergency room after being involved in an accident, undergoing a routine surgery, or delivering your first baby, you have every right to believe you will be given the very best medical care possible. But what happens when the hospital fails to uphold its duty? What happens when patients die because the hospital is unprepared? What happens when the doctors and nurses on staff are not equipped with the knowledge and equipment they need?
When it comes to medical care in a hospital, every second counts. If the hospital has been negligent in its preparations and operations, the patients are the ones who can pay the ultimate price. If you believe that your spouse or close loved one died because of negligence from the hospital where they were treated, filing a wrongful death lawsuit is one option to obtain legal justice.
How Does Negligence Occur at a Hospital?
With so many individuals involved every step of the way during a patient’s medical treatment, it becomes difficult to imagine that negligence can occur. The doctors, nurses, surgeons, and all healthcare providers have others to whom they must report. They are required to keep detailed medical charts for each patient, and there are protocols in place that guide the treatment process for every individual who is seen at the hospital.
Unfortunately, when there are so many moving parts involved, it can also become easy for things to get overlooked. If one person fails to do their job or makes a conscious decision to not follow the protocols in place, wrongful death is a very real possibility. There are two main ways that negligence occurs in a hospital.
- Negligence on behalf of the doctors, nurses, surgeons, anesthesiologists, and other healthcare providers who are employed by the hospital
- Negligence of behalf of the hospital itself when it comes to employees, equipment, operations, and management
What Happens When a Hospital Employee is Negligent?
This is one area that can get a little tricky when it comes to pursuing legal action. In many instances, doctors and nurses simply act as independent contractors while working at a hospital, which means that they are not actually employees of the facility. However, there are also situations where a hospital may have a significant amount of control over their independent contractors.
When it comes to addressing the liability of a hospital because of negligent employees, you will need a legal professional to do some digging and consult on the matter. It’s not always a black and white issue of whether or not they were directly employed by the hospital, so it is best to have a legal expert address your questions on a case-by-case basis. Sometimes you can file a wrongful death lawsuit against the hospital, and sometimes you cannot.
What Happens When the Hospital is Negligent?
Wrongful death can also occur when the hospital itself is negligent. This is possible through several different ways. A hospital can exhibit negligence if:
- The hospital failed to establish and implement necessary safety protocols, for both healthcare providers and patients
- The hospital administration failed to verify that all healthcare providers were licensed, competent, and able to provide quality care to patients
- The hospital failed to eliminate any employees who did not meet the necessary standards that should have been in place
- The hospital constantly understaffed both physicians and nurses
- Outdated medical equipment was not repaired or replaced in a timely manner
- Operating and examination rooms were not equipped with the necessary equipment and supplies
How Do I File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against a Hospital?
If you have reason to believe that your spouse or loved one died because of negligence on behalf of a hospital, you have every right to pursue legal action. By filing a wrongful death lawsuit, you will be able to seek compensation through a civil trial for the damages you experienced because of the death. Those damages can include:
- Medical expenses associated with the injury and hospital stay
- Loss of income - this includes both the present and future loss
- Loss of love and companionship
- Pain and suffering
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Any other expenses or losses associated with the death
The most important step to filing a lawsuit is hiring an experienced wrongful death attorney, and this is exactly where Ross Feller Casey comes into play.
The firm has a national reputation for winning record-setting recoveries in catastrophic injury cases, including many involving wrongful death as a result of hospital negligence. For more information on filing a wrongful death lawsuit against a hospital, contact the attorneys at Ross Feller Casey for a free consultation today.