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Hospital Malpractice

If a hospital or one of its employees is negligent, engages in poor patient care, or is careless in how it handles a case, the injured patient may have the right to file a medical malpractice claim against the establishment. The New Orleans medical malpractice attorneys at the Law Office of John W. Redmann, LLC have years of experience handling these types of cases. We can represent clients going up against major hospitals such as University Medical Center New Orleans, The New Orleans East Hospital, and  Children’s Hospital New Orleans. Contact us for your free consultation.

Employees vs. Independent Contractors

Many medical malpractice cases can name an individual physician as a defendant but not the hospital itself. This is because the majority of physicians are independent contractors, not employees of the hospital. The hospital will generally not be vicariously liable for the actions and behaviors of independent contractors, as it is for employees. Instead, the injured patient will have to name the individual doctor or surgeon as the defendant in a medical malpractice claim, seeking damages from the doctor’s insurance company.

In the event that a hospital nurse, physician’s assistant, maintenance person, or another employee of the hospital is responsible for the patient’s injuries, the hospital might be vicariously liable for damages. For example, if a nurse administers the wrong dosage of a medication to a patient, resulting in overdose and death, the hospital will likely be responsible for paying damages to the surviving family members. Finding out the employment status of the party allegedly at fault for the patient’s injuries is one of the first steps towards compensation.

Examples of Hospital Malpractice

Not every poor patient outcome is malpractice. For a patient to have a claim against a hospital in Louisiana, he or she must prove that the injury, illness, or death would not have occurred but for the hospital (or its employee’s) malpractice. The patient must prove the defendant’s negligence in causing or contributing to the damages sought. It is important to keep in mind that malpractice and negligence are two different legal terms with different meanings. You might have a standard negligence claim (not a malpractice claim) against a hospital in the following situations:

  • Slip and fall accident
  • Elevator/escalator accident
  • Infections from poor sanitation on the premises
  • Food poisoning from spoiled hospital food
  • Exposure to toxic or harmful substances

These are examples of incidents that could expose the hospital to premises liability, not necessarily medical malpractice, claims. Property-related claims involve standard negligence, not medical negligence. Your case would, therefore, follow the rules and guidelines of a standard negligence claim.

Situations that could result in a hospital malpractice claim, on the other hand, include:

  • Hiring and retaining incompetent doctors or staff members
  • Poor staff training and lack of communication
  • A hospital employee making a careless mistake
  • Emergency room errors
  • Turning a patient away due to inability to pay

These are examples of situations in which the hospital or one of its staff members would have breached a standard of care in the medical industry, resulting in harm to a patient. The plaintiff would have to prove that the hospital was guilty of malpractice and that this malpractice was the proximate cause of his or her damages to receive compensation.

Discuss Your Case With an Attorney

The Law Office of John W. Redmann, L.L.C. offers free, zero-obligation case evaluations to enable injured patients to learn more about their cases at no cost. If you recently suffered any type of personal injury or health problem and you believe hospital malpractice is to blame, contact us. You could recover the costs of your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. Request your consultation today at (504) 500-5000.