When you are hurt or sick, you know that you can go to the hospital. The medical professionals there will do everything they can to help you feel better. Perhaps no other groups of people in the US have out trust the way that doctors and nurses do. At least that is what is supposed to happen.

What they fail to perform their jobs to a high level of care? What if you get worse because of their negligence? When you need a Norristown hospital negligence attorney, The Weitz Firm is ready to help you. We want to make sure you are fairly compensated for your injuries and suffering.

When Can You Sue the Hospital?

If you have suffered an injury or harm by negligence at a hospital, your first instinct is to file a suit against the hospital. However, you may not always be able to do so. Filing a suit for negligence against a hospital will depend on the practitioner’s relationship with the hospital. If the physician was an independent contractor, you may not have grounds to file a suit against the hospital or name them in your complaint. However, if the doctor was an employee of the hospital, then you can name the hospital as a co-defendant or main defendant in a lawsuit.

To determine whether a doctor is an employee or an independent contractor, we must look to the relationship between the hospital and the doctor. An article published in Physicians Practice nicely lays out the difference between doctors as employees vs. independent contractors. The definitive categories that determine a doctors employment status are:

  • Behavioral control: If the hospital has authority and control over the physician’s performance or dictates their tasks, then they are likely to be an employee.
  • Financial control: If the hospital controls the financial aspects of the physician’s job, then he is probably an employee.
  • Type of Relationship: If the hospital provides benefits, insurance, or any additional pay, then the doctor is going to be an employee.

A physician is deemed to be an independent contractor when they offer their services to the general public and are not controlled by any facility. When a physician’s services are controlled by an employer, then they are an employee of that agency.

Common Claims of Hospital Negligence

Studies show that anywhere from 200,000 to 400,000 people die in the US every year die due to preventable medical errors. You read that correctly, and we did not make that up. Now imagine how many people are injured and do not get killed.

The numbers are staggering. What are some of the most common medical errors that happen in hospitals?

  1. Medication Errors – When it comes to patients, we often see that they are given the wrong medications. Often, they are given the wrong dosage or given two or more medications that react poorly with one another.
  2. Being Misdiagnosed – Johns Hopkins found that diagnostic errors are the leading cause of medical malpractice lawsuits and account for the most severe patient harm.
  3. Infections – One out of every 25 patients in the hospital contract an infection of some sort. This can stem from carelessness on the part of hospital staff.
  4. Unnecessary Treatment – Patients could receive the treatment they do not need in an effort by the hospital to bill their insurance for more money.
  5. Surgical Errors – Yes, we have heard the horror stories of patients losing the wrong limb, but surgical errors are usually much smaller – but they can be deadly.
  6. Hospital Overcrowding – If a hospital is overcrowded, it can lead to doctors and nurses being rushed and not performing at a high level of care for each patient. It can also mean that hospital administration puts pressure on its staff to discharge patients too early.

Going to the hospital should mean that you are in a place where your care is the number one priority. If that is not the case, then your condition could quickly become worse.

Seeking Compensation for Medical Negligence

If you have suffered an injury due to medical negligence or malpractice, you may be awarded damages for any and all losses incurred. The number of damages received will depend on the injury and the situation that caused the injury. Most damages for a hospital’s negligence include:

  • Medical costs — costs for treatment, ongoing medical costs, medicine, and future medical costs
  • Lost wages — full or partial wages for the time you are not able to work due to the injuries
  • Loss of future income — if you are not able to work for a period of time, or permanently, then you could be owed future income you would have received but for the injury
  • Loss of household services — compensation for any household services you can no longer complete and therefore must hire someone (mowing, cleaning, cooking, etc.)
  • Cost of additional care — if your injuries require an assisted living lifestyle, you could be owed compensation to cover the costs
  • Loss of quality of life — the possibility of compensation for any significant debilitating changes to your lifestyle
  • Pain and suffering — compensation for pain and suffering will be a subjective amount dependent on what caused the injury and the extent of the victims’ injuries

This is not a comprehensive list of all damages one may be able to receive for their injuries. The amount received will always depend on the severity of the injury and the actual cause of the injury. In some jurisdictions, courts will also award punitive damages. Punitive damages can be awarded in addition to compensatory damages by the judge or jury. The point of punitive damages is to punish the party responsible for causing the injuries of the victim.

We are Here to Help

We know that you have been through so much. That is why we want to help make it easier. If you think that the negligence of hospital professionals has caused you harm, you need to seek legal assistance. At The Weitz Firm, we believe that everyone should have the right to challenge the system that causes them harm, especially if what has happened to them should not have happened.

When you need a hospital negligence attorney in Norristown, you can contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or calling 267-587-6240. We will work to recover the compensation you deserve.

Click To Call