If you have ever received medical care or treatment at a Philadelphia hospital, you may have witnessed the nation’s nurse and hospital understaffing firsthand. In fact, if you are reading this and looking for an experienced hospital understaffing attorney in Philadelphia or elsewhere in Pennsylvania, you may have been harmed by the nursing and hospital shortage.
“What does it mean to be a victim of hospital understaffing?” some of you might wonder. The consequences of hospital or nurse understaffing can take many forms. For example, you may have had to wait for an unreasonably long period of time for a nurse to respond to your call, or nurses failed to properly monitor you during your stay at the hospital because they could not physically handle the workload at an understaffed hospital, or you suffered a hospital infection due to overworked hospital staff.
Yes, when hospital staff has more on their plate than they can realistically handle, many things can go wrong. Still, many hospitals can’t do anything about the shortage of nurses and other staff members simply because the nation has a problem with nursing and hospital staff shortage.
Why aren’t there enough nurses and other medical professionals in the United States? There are multiple reasons why, but the most common ones are low pay, long hours, a high-stress work environment, and the burdensome responsibility of providing medical care.
Medical staffing shortages—understaffing—can be classified as a form of medical malpractice. Injured patients can file a malpractice claim against the medical professionals or staff members who caused their injuries, even if the understaffing is not the fault of that medical professional. In addition, hospital management can be named in the claim, since if they had done their jobs adequately, the injuries sustained by the patient due to understaffing may not have happened at all.
Our Philadelphia hospital understaffing attorney from The Weitz Firm, LLC, explains that the quality of medical care that hospitals provide to patients declines when there are not enough staff members to cater to patient needs. Understaffed hospitals are more likely to be negligent or careless, breach the duty of care and cause injury to their patients.
Multiple studies have shown the direct link between the shortage of nurses and other members of hospital staff and the heightened risk of:
Studies estimate that each year, up to 500,000 patients die in hospitals due to medical malpractice. It’s fair to say that many of these patient fatalities can be prevented if hospitals had an adequate number of medical professionals and nurses monitoring patients and providing the highest quality of medical care.
But does it mean that you can recover damages when injured or harmed as a result of hospital understaffing? Definitely, though proving that your injury or infection at the hospital was caused by hospital or nurse understaffing may not be easy.
In fact, more often than not, patients need to seek legal help from a Philadelphia nurse understaffing lawyer to prove that the shortage of nurses or other members of hospital staff led to their particular injury, illness, or other types of harm.
The lack of adequate nursing staff can cause serious problems for patients, and serious, life-threatening circumstances can directly result from staff shortages. Some of them include:
Under Pennsylvania law, hospitals owe their patients a high standard of care, and understaffing cannot be used as an excuse to escape liability. It is the duty of the hospital manager or staffing coordinator to make sure that adequate staff are always on hand. Serious injuries can result when staffing shortages prevail. Specific medical personnel as well as the hospital or clinic where the shortage resulted in an injury may be named in a claim for damages.
At the Weitz Firm, our Philadelphia hospital understaffing attorney is ready to help you hold the responsible party in your case accountable for your damages. If you or someone you love has been seriously injured as a result of understaffing errors by the hospital, our team will pursue fair and just compensation and recovery of damages to the maximum extent possible.
You may be compensated for:
If understaffing led to the death of a family member or loved one, you may be eligible to file a wrongful death action against the medical professionals and facilities responsible for their death. Wrongful death claims allow for essentially the same damages listed above with the addition of final and funeral expenses. Also, a wrongful death claim may include compensation for a spouse/child/parent for the loss of love, companionship, and guidance, among other losses.