Patients who are injured because of medical treatment they received in a hospital are entitled to seek reparations from that hospital. But there are many different factors of medical malpractice litigation that need to be considered. While hospitals are always responsible for the incompetence of their staff, they may not have anything to do with the doctor’s malpractice on its own. Let’s take a look at when patients can sue a hospital and when they can’t.

Hospital Employees

Hospitals are responsible for medical malpractice fees and reparations when one of their employees committed the mistake. Negligent employees might hurt patients if they are not taking proper care into consideration while treating them.

Not all doctors and surgeons are part of the hospital staff. People who are typically under the employ of a hospital include:

  • Nurses
  • Support staff
  • Medical technicians
  • Pharmacists

Not every accident can be chalked up to negligence, but in most cases, patients should not have a problem seeking litigation from a hospital if the malfeasance occurred by one of the staff members listed above.

Medical malpractice

Non-Employee Doctors

Most doctors are independent contractors of a hospital, rather than employees of that hospital. Their employment status will determine whether or not the hospital can be sued for malpractice. If a patient suffers an injury as a result of negligence by the doctor, the hospital may try to avoid liability.

However, if it is not clear whether the doctor is part of a hospital’s staff, the patient can still sue for damages. It is the hospital’s responsibility to be transparent with patients about the employment status of their doctors and all staff members.

Hospitals who keep an incompetent doctor on staff can be reported and investigated in a separate case.

Know Your Statute of Limitations

In order to successfully sue a hospital for medical malpractice, the patient must start the litigation process before the statute of limitations passes. This is a time limit that can vary by state or region. Some time limits can be as short as one day, or as long as several months. It’s important to get in touch with a medical malpractice attorney as quickly as possible if you believe that you are entitled to compensation due to injuries sustained by a doctor at a hospital.

Find The Right Person To Sue

Again, it’s important to identify whether the doctor is an independent contractor or an employee with the hospital, read more about independent contractor at https://www.hg.org/legal-articles/physician-employment-and-independent-contractor-agreements-27097. This will determine who exactly needs to be sued for your medical malfeasance claims. Just because the negligence occurred at the hospital does not necessarily make the hospital responsible to pay reparations.

Getting in touch with a malpractice attorney will help you determine whether the hospital as an entity needs to be sued, or whether the case should go against the individual doctor. In most circumstances, doctors are independent contractors and therefore should be sued independently from the hospital in which they work.