According to data from the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB), in 2014, there was an increase of 4.4% in total malpractice payout amounts in the United States. It came close to the $4 billion mark at $3,891,743,050. 40% of the payout was for medical malpractice cases in outpatient incidents while 46% were for inpatient cases.
The legal concept of medical malpractice is not limited to, medical doctors’ conduct, but also applies to hospitals, nurses, nurses, anesthesiologists, pharmaceutical companies and healthcare facilities, and other professionals that provide healthcare services. The main element of a medical malpractice lawsuit is proving fault – often to a doctor or any other medical professional – but sometimes other liabilities are also liable.
Hospitals are corporations that are either private or public entities. When it comes to the context of malpractice actions, patients can hold hospitals directly liable for their negligence. They can also be held responsible or "vicariously" liable for employees’ negligence. Vicarious liability means a party is not held liable for its own negligence, but for another party’s negligence.
The medical staff of a hospital consists of licensed physicians and other licensed healthcare providers such as doctor’s assistants, nurses, nurse practitioners. When it hires its staff, it is important for a hospital to make inquiries into the education, training and licensing of every applicant. If a hospital fails to do this, they can be held liable under the doctrine of "corporate negligence" for negligent retention and supervision, if the negligent actions of a staff member cause injury to a patient.
It is also required for hospitals to ensure that a good number of registered nurses are on duty around the clock to ensure the maintenance of quality patient care. Failure to do this may result in liability for injuries to patients that are caused by a shortage of nurses.
Another area where liability can potentially occur is when a hospital’s staff does not follow the orders of an attending physician. Conversely, if an employee finds a private doctor’s treatment plan to be clearly contraindicated, but does not make a reasonable inquiry of the doctor pertaining to the treatment, the hospital may be held liable as well.
When a hospital staff members’ malpractice causes injury to a patient, the hospital may be held vicariously liable under the "respondent superior" legal doctrine. Under this doctrine, the employer, in this case, the hospital may be held liable for the negligent actions of its employee. This is if the employee was acting within the scope of employment when the omission or negligent act occurred. This is salient and fantastic doctrine for plaintiffs in medical malpractice cases as it helps in ensuring that a financially responsible party will be available to compensate the injured party, or plaintiff.
The Best Legal Firm on the Field
If you or a loved one has been injured due to hospital negligence, you should immediately seek the help of the qualified medical malpractice attorneys at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff, & Wolff of RMFW Law at 212 697 9280.
We know how to win cases. We win cases all the time since we have a winning formula for doing so. We know what a winning case looks like. Medical malpractice cases are expensive and time consuming but we have the resources and fortitude to come through for you. If your case is viable give us a call.
The first meeting is free. We charge you nothing up front. We are not paid until you are paid. When we settle or win, most likely that will be the outcome, one of those two circumstances, we only keep a percentage of the payment. So in essence, you never pay us any money to make you financially whole again and probably even then some. Someone did you wrong, it is time to make this situation right.