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Who is held responsible in a hospital negligence suit?

When mistakes are made in a hospital or other medical environment, the results can be devastating for the patient, even deadly. Errors can happen anywhere along the line, from doctors to anesthesiologists, nurses to pharmaceutical companies and anyone else involved in the process. Generally for a medical malpractice lawsuit you must be able to prove fault in one of these parties, but often multiple parties may be liable for the mistakes. Unless you are dealing with pharmaceutical company errors, most likely the suit will fall under hospital negligence.

When dealing with hospitals, your suit will either hold the institution directly liable or do so vicariously. A vicarious liability lawsuit is probably the one you are most familiar with. This scenario covers instances of doctors, nurses and other medical professionals making a mistake. Because the hospital employs them, the institution is responsible under respondeat superior doctrine. If a physician is a contractor working in the hospital, this doctrine may not apply.

Direct hospital negligence happens when the governing body makes a mistake. For instance, if an under qualified doctor is hired and causes an error, the hospital may be at fault. This also covers staffing issues, such as having too few nurses covering too many patients. Also, if an employed doctor treats a patient contradictory to the patient’s private physician’s orders, or is not investigated for an unusual treatment regimen, the hospital may be liable.

Of course, a patient in New Haven who is suffering from a worsened medical condition may not know who is responsible for the errors. That’s why it is important to contact an experienced attorney who can figure out the logistics of a medical malpractice suit and can advise a plan of action.

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