Who Can be Sued in a Hospital Negligence Case?

When a hospital medical error has impacted you or a loved one, your first call needs to be to an experienced medical malpractice attorney at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. Misdiagnoses, surgery errors, mismanagement of medication, and other serious problems can have lifelong effects on the victim – and they’re more common than you think. Getting compensation for follow-up care, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other issues can help you restore your quality of life.

Sorting out who is liable for the error can be a complex process. Though it may seem like the doctor is at fault, but independent contractors, nurses’ aides, and other individuals may have played a role in the circumstances that caused your injury.

It will take an experienced medical malpractice lawyer at our law firm to sort out the facts of your case and get you the compensation you deserve. In Michigan, the statute of limitations on medical malpractice lawsuits is just two years, so it’s important to take action as soon as possible.

Doctors and Surgeons

Individual doctors and surgeons can be held liable for a number of different mistakes. Many kinds of doctors can end up sued for misdiagnosis, unnecessary treatment, signing off on an early discharge, and several other common errors. Surgeons can be sued for errors and surgical burns.

There is a cap on how much doctors, surgeons, and other licensed medical staff can be sued for. There is also a limit to what doctors can be held liable for. If, for example, your poor outcome was not due to the doctor’s failure to meet the proper standard of care, you will be unable to file a successful suit.

Nurses, Technicians, and Nurses’ Aides

Licensed nurses and medical technicians can be sued the same way that doctors and surgeons can. Neglect, missed warning signs, and incorrect medication dosage, are malpractice cases often caused by nurses. In some cases, both the nurse and the doctor responsible for your care will contribute to the circumstances that caused the injury and can both be held responsible.

You can also sue unlicensed nurses’ aides who work alongside licensed nurses in hospitals. Because of the strict rules surrounding their working conditions, it’s not common for aides to cause medication- or instrument-related injuries. However, they can occasionally be party to a medical malpractice lawsuit.

The Hospital

In cases where an individual doctor’s treatment results in malpractice, you might be unable to sue the hospital. Some hospital doctors are actually independent contractors and not employees under the direct management of the hospital.

However, you may be able to sue the hospital for malpractice if you can demonstrate that the management practices of the hospital contributed to a doctor or nurse’s malpractice, or if the doctor is an employee of that hospital. There may also be causes where equipment malfunctions due to lack of maintenance may have been caused by the hospital itself. Since the specific criteria can vary from case to case, it’s essential to consult with a medical attorney to figure out what applies to your situation.

Exceptions for Federally Funded Hospitals

If you’re suing due to malpractice committed at a federally funded facility, such as a Veterans’ Affairs hospital, you will likely need to sue the federal government under the Federal Tort Claims Act. The results of these suits are often as good as or better than results you would get under state law.

Filing an administrative claim for malpractice committed by a federal employee isn’t as steep as a hurdle as you might imagine. A medical attorney with experience in this area can help you sort through the necessary paperwork to file a claim. You may not even have to proceed to the lawsuit phase in this case, as it’s common for the federal government to settle claims out of court.

Contact us

Proving hospital negligence can be challenging so you need an experienced legal team on your side to help you fight for the justice and compensation you deserve. Call Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. on 1-866-MICH-LAW for a no obligation case evaluation. We never charge a fee unless we resolve your case.

Hannah Johnson has her Bachelor of Arts in Public Affairs with a specialization in civic engagement. Her career has focused on labor-related research, including unions, workers’ compensation, and contract law. She is now broadening her career to include research and policy analysis in East Asia, specifically in countries like South Korea and Japan where the aging population is creating a new frontier in economic trends and public policy innovation.

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