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Seattle Hospital Malpractice Lawyers

Holding Hospitals Accountable for Negligence

Hospitals are businesses that owe an independent duty to patients. Medical professionals, such as surgeons and nurses, can face litigation for their individual medical malpractice. In some cases of serious medical errors that result in harm to patients, the hospital where the injury occurred can be held responsible for medical errors as well. It is possible to sue a hospital or other health care facility if you suffered an injury because of hospital negligence, or the negligence of a hospital employee, or a hospital ostensible agent.

Hospital malpractice cases can be complex and challenging. Our experienced Seattle hospital malpractice lawyers at Pendergast Law have successfully handled these types of cases on behalf of seriously injured victims and their families. We can walk you through the process of investigating a malpractice claim and getting your compensation for your trauma. Call us today at (425) 228-3860 or toll-free at (888) 228-3860 to get a free case evaluation.

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Types of Hospital Negligence

Negligence is the key component of any hospital malpractice case. Hospitals are directly responsible to patients to use reasonable care in the supervision of health care professionals; to furnish safe supplies and equipment; and to select competent and safe employees. A medical professional is said to be negligent when he or she fails to provide a certain standard of care to patients. The practices of a hospital can be classified as negligent as well in certain situations. Acts of negligence that can result in liability issues for a hospital can include:

  • Negligent Credentialling: Hospitals must carefully review all new staff and regularly evaluate if current staff have proper training, licensing, and degrees. This also applies to non-employees. It is common for attending physicians to only use a hospital space without being an official employee. In such cases, the hospital must make sure that the attending physician is licensed.
  • Lack of Staff: Failure to provide adequate staff capable of providing proper patient care can lead to multiple patients suffering serious injuries and trauma. These types of cases often involve patients who are left unattended when they need critical care or at emergency rooms where patients have to wait long hours to get treatment or provided inadequate treatment.
  • Negligent Record Keeping: Failure to keep proper and adequate patient records or losing these important records presents a risk for a patient being given the wrong treatment, medication errors, and misdiagnoses.
  • Hospital Acquired Infections: Hospitals must take great care to avoid exposing patients to dangerous and deadly diseases. Whether this includes carefully sanitizing all operating rooms, sterilizing surgical equipment, or properly scrubbing down during surgeries, every precaution must be taken. If management or staff allow a patient to become infected due to negligence, then they can be held accountable in a malpractice claim.
  • Prescription Drug Errors: Life-saving medication should always be administered in a timely manner, but providing the wrong medication, providing too much or too little medication, or giving a patient medication they are allergic too presents a high risk of a fatal injury.
  • Equipment Errors: Equipment errors are a major part of surgical malpractice claims, as defective devices or poorly trained staff can cause severe injuries. Hospitals must make sure that every employee is trained to properly use medical or surgical equipment, provide important equipment document to technicians, and ensure their devices are operating correctly.
  • Medical Miscommunication: Misdiagnoses and failing to treat patients can often be linked back to hospital staff failing to communicate with each or follow orders. Nurses and doctors should always confirm a course of action and follow through on making sure a patient gets treatment in a timely manner. If staff miscommunicate, it puts patients at risk of receiving delayed diagnoses or not getting treatment at all.

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Who Is Responsible for Malpractice?

There are several categories of medical professionals who work in a hospital. A hospital can be held accountable for the actions of these professionals:

  • Employees - Those who fall under this category are nurses, medical technicians, chiropractors, or even paramedics who may be employed by a hospital. If the patient was injured by an employee on the job, then the plaintiff can file a hospital malpractice claim. For example, when a nurse administers the wrong dosage of medication resulting in severe reactions and health complications, a hospital malpractice claim may be filed. Hospitals may also face lawsuits for cases where employees allow a dangerous condition, such as wet floors or trip-and-fall hazards, to happen.
  • Doctors - Typically, hospitals are not liable for doctors' medical negligence because a majority of doctors are independent contractors. However, there are cases where doctors are hospital employees or agents. If a hospital controls the doctor's work hours or sets his or her fees, then, it often means that the doctor is an employee or would be considered an ostensible agent in court. If the doctor is an employee or agent, the plaintiff patient can sue the hospital for medical malpractice.
  • Management - Almost hospitals are either for-profit or nonprofit corporations. A hospital has a duty to do background checks of employees and hire doctors, nurses and technicians who are competent. A hospital, as a corporation, is usually responsible for any corporate negligence.

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Contacting an Experienced Hospital Malpractice Lawyer in Seattle

Our experienced Seattle medical malpractice attorneys at Pendergast Law, work diligently to help patients hold hospitals accountable for their negligence and wrongdoing. We understand the severe physical, emotional, and financial hardships patients face in such circumstances. If you were injured due to hospital negligence, then you deserve proper compensation for your injuries, and our team will use all of our expertise to get you the highest possible award.

Contact us at (425) 228-3860 or toll-free at (888) 228-3860 to schedule your free and comprehensive consultation.

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