Some of the most serious injuries sustained by Florida residents are treated not in an in-patient ward, but at the nearest hospital. Unfortunately, hospitals are often overcrowded and understaffed, meaning that patients are much more likely to suffer from substandard care in these environments than in other medical departments. While it is true that patients who are injured through the negligence of hospital staff, can recover damages compensating them for their losses, doing so is a notoriously complex process, as hospitals are often well-funded and difficult to prosecute, so if you or a loved one sustained an injury in a Florida hospital, you should contact a lawyer in your area who can ensure that your claim has the best possible chance of success.
Defining Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice is any act or omission made by a healthcare professional during diagnosis or treatment that deviates from accepted industry standards and results in an injury to a patient. Hospitals, which are notorious for treating a wide range of injuries and illnesses, as well as a large cross section of the population, see some of the highest rates of physician error and patient injuries, often as a result of one of the following mistakes:
- Surgical errors, including the failure to sterilize medical tools or equipment, failing to properly administer anesthesia, failing to monitor a patient, or merely failing to use the proper procedures during surgery;
- Medication errors, such as misprescribing a type of medication or dosage, giving a patient the wrong medication, or failing to account for the adverse effects of mixing certain medications;
- Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis, which can have some of the most devastating consequences for patients, and is often the result of a failure in communication, understaffing, or a failure to order and properly interpret the necessary diagnostic tests; and
- Negligence during childbirth, which can result in permanent birth injuries and life threatening complications for the patient.
When a plaintiff can prove that a hospital staff member engaged in this type of negligence and as a result, caused that individual to suffer an injury, the injured party could be entitled to monetary compensation for related losses.
Hospital employees who can be held liable for negligently diagnosing or treating a patient include:
- ER doctors;
- Surgical assistants; and
- Physical therapists.
However, it is important to remember that a hospital can only be held liable for the negligence of a staff member if that individual was employed directly by the hospital itself. Even this is not a bar to recovery, however, if there is evidence that a hospital knowingly employed an independent contractor who was incompetent or unqualified to treat patients. Generally, when a negligent doctor is an independent contractor, the hospital will be immune from liability, although the at-fault medical professional could still be held personally liable.
Brandon Hospital Malpractice Legal Team
For help determining whether you can file a claim against the hospital where your negligence-based injury occurred, please call Palmer | Lopez at 813-506-5651. One of our dedicated hospital malpractice lawyers can also be reached via online message.