Hospital Injury Lawyer Michigan
Hospitals are supposed to be places of medical treatment and healing. And for many people, they are exactly that. However, if a hospital becomes too relaxed with its management, it could be held liable for the actions of negligent staffers. If you or a family member suffered injuries or illness due to hospital negligence, you might have a case. It can be difficult to know how to sue a hospital on your own, so working with an experienced attorney is your best bet.
The Michigan medical malpractice lawyers at Lipton Law are here to offer a free consultation for your case. We can evaluate your case and assist you throughout the entire legal process. You suffered injuries that were not your fault. Now it’s time to seek justice. Call our law firm today at 248-557-1688 to establish an attorney-client relationship with a hospital injury lawyer and schedule an appointment.
What Is Hospital Negligence?
Hospital negligence occurs when hospital employees injure patients as a result of negligent actions or by failing to act. It is one of the many forms of medical malpractice cases. Similar to doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals, hospitals have a standard of care to uphold. If a hospital employee engages in medical negligence, you and your attorney can gather evidence of that negligence to support your case.
What Causes Hospital Negligence?
The root causes of hospital negligence are important to understand for your case. Below, we outline some of the common causes of hospital negligence.
- Negligent hiring practices: It’s important for businesses to make reasonable inquiries about potential new hires. This even applies to hospitals. If a hospital keeps a staff member that was proven to be dangerous or incompetent, they could be liable for the actions of those staff members.
- Inadequate or poor staffing: Additionally, hospitals are responsible for maintaining an adequate number of staff members to uphold a high standard of patient care. If a patient suffers a serious injury due to understaffing, the hospital might be held liable.
- Failing to inform patients about doctor status: Sometimes, the doctors that treat patients in hospitals are not actually hospital staffers. If a patient believes that their doctor was an employee of the hospital, the hospital could be held liable for their actions.
Types of Hospital Negligence
Hospital malpractice applies to the negligent actions of any medical professional employed by the hospital.
Below, we outline common examples of hospital negligence cases.
- Misinterpreting lab results
- Failure to order tests
- Birth injuries
- Medical errors
- Giving the wrong medication or dosage
- Surgical errors
- Anesthesia errors
- Performing an unnecessary surgery
- Misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose a medical condition
- Poor aftercare
- Failing to monitor patient vital signs
- Premature discharge
- Failing to take a proper patient history
Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis
Missing a diagnosis or giving a wrong diagnosis could lead to a plethora of medical issues for patients. This is especially true in cases of serious illness, such as cancer. Sepsis is also life-threatening when left untreated for too long. If you fear that your doctor missed a critical diagnosis, you need an experienced hospital negligence lawyer on your side.
These involve giving patients the wrong medicine or giving the wrong dose of medication. This could result in adverse reactions to medications, negative effects from not receiving the right medication, or even overdose. When this happens, patients and their family members need to take legal action as soon as possible.
Unfortunately, it is not unheard of for patients to get infections from hospital stays. However, hospitals are expected to take all possible precautions to prevent infections and the spread of illnesses. When medical staff members fail to do this, the hospital could be liable for those infections. Victims should speak with a medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible if this happens.
Emergency Room Errors
While it’s true that emergency rooms are hectic environments in which countless lives are saved every single day, it is still possible for medical malpractice to happen in them. One common example of emergency room errors is a patient being diagnosed with acid reflux, only to be sent home and later have a heart attack. Victims of emergency room errors should contact a personal injury attorney with experience in medical malpractice right away.
How to Prove Hospital Negligence
There are four essential elements to every hospital negligence case. They are similar to the elements required to prove medical malpractice cases. Below, we outline each of the four elements in detail.
- Duty of care: The hospital owes the patient a certain duty of care. This element is relatively easy to prove, as there are hospital records of the relationship between the patient and the healthcare professional. Potential complications can arise in cases involving doctors who are independent contractors. The duty of care is established by what a provider of similar skill and education would have done under similar circumstances.
- Breach of the duty of care: The hospital breached that duty of care. This is generally proven by showing that the hospital staff deviated from the accepted standard of care. A breach can also occur from hospitals being kept in unsanitary conditions.
- Causation: The patient and their hospital negligence lawyer will need to show a direct link between the breach and the injury or illness.
- Damages: Lastly, the patient must show that they suffered actual damages as a result of the hospital negligence. These damages are often in the form of medical bills, pain and suffering damages, emotional distress, and even lost wages.
Can Patients Sue a Hospital for Negligence?
Yes. If an injured patient has serious injuries due to the negligence of a staff member or independent contractor, they might be able to sue the hospital. Generally, hospitals are responsible for the competence and actions of their employees. Therefore, when a negligent hospital staffer makes a mistake, the hospital is liable for that mistake.
Examples of hospital employees for which the hospital may be liable are nurses, technicians, and all support staff. However, the hospital is only responsible so long as the employee was doing job-related tasks when the patient suffered harm.
One important exception occurs when an employee makes a mistake while under the supervision of a doctor. In this case, the doctor may be liable rather than the hospital. However, this depends on two factors.
- Was the doctor present at the time of the mistake?
- Did the doctor have control over the scenario in order to prevent the mistake?
How Long Do Patients Have to Sue a Hospital for Negligence?
Generally, patients have between two and six years to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against a hospital. In the state of Michigan, injured patients have 3 years after the time of injury or death to recover damages from a hospital. However, we recommend filing your hospital negligence lawsuit as soon as possible. These cases can be immensely complicated, which means you should leave yourself as much time as possible to prepare. As soon as you are aware of your injury, we recommend speaking with a qualified medical malpractice lawyer about your case. This will allow you to navigate the complicated red tape more easily.
How to Sue a Hospital
If you decide that a medical malpractice case is necessary for your situation, it’s important to understand the steps you’ll need to take with your personal injury lawyers. Below, we outline the basic steps of how to sue a hospital for medical negligence. You’ll need help from your hospital negligence lawyer.
- Gather evidence of hospital liability. This evidence usually includes testimony from medical experts, along with your medical records.
- Calculate the value of your case. This step can be difficult without the help of a skilled legal team. Your lawyer can gather all the necessary information and documents to calculate your case’s value.
- File your lawsuit and meet the deadline. Every medical malpractice lawsuit has a time limit. In Michigan, you have 3 years from the date of injury or death to file. Once this time limit has passed, you can no longer receive compensation. Working with hospital negligence lawyers will ensure that you meet all relevant deadlines for your case.
Who Is Liable for Hospital Negligence?
The hospital is liable for the actions of any hospital staff member. However, this usually does not apply to independent contractor doctors. There are a few cases in which hospitals could be held liable for non-employee doctors. We explain these cases below.
The Doctor Appeared to Be a Hospital Employee
It is the hospital’s responsibility to inform patients that their doctor is not a member of the hospital’s staff. If they fail to do this and the patient believes the doctor is employed by the hospital, they may be liable for the doctor’s negligence. Hospitals can avoid this by explicitly informing patients that their doctor is not an employee of the hospital.
However, things differ a bit if a medical error occurs in an emergency room. Emergency rooms are hectic. Therefore, the hospital doesn’t always have the time or ability to inform patients that their doctor is not a hospital employee. This sometimes opens the door for lawsuits against the hospital.
The Hospital Keeps a Doctor on Staff Who Is Incompetent
Giving staff privileges to a doctor who is dangerous or incompetent can lead to serious consequences. This is true even if the doctor in question is an independent contractor. Additionally, if a doctor who was once perfectly competent and safe becomes dangerous, the hospital is responsible for knowing this and taking proper action. If the hospital knew or should have known about a doctor’s incompetence, they could be held liable for the damages that the doctor caused.
How Long Does It Take to Sue a Hospital for Negligence?
Medical malpractice lawsuits against a single doctor can often take a long time to complete. These cases are complicated, and they require a great deal of evidence to litigate effectively. In many cases, it can take anywhere from 16 to 24 months to reach a final judgment or settlement. To have a better understanding of the complexity of your case, we recommend speaking with our hospital negligence lawyers about your legal rights.
How Much Is a Hospital Lawsuit Settlement?
It is difficult to estimate the worth of a case without first discussing the details of your case. In order to recover compensation, you must first be able to prove your case. After that, you will need to provide evidence of your medical treatment, medical expenses, and resulting injuries. When a hospital’s negligence causes severe injuries, you have a legal right to compensation for those injuries. Contact our law firm to schedule a free consultation about your case.
Which Factors Influence My Potential Recovery Amount?
Many factors affect the potential compensation available to you. Just because you suffered the same injuries as another patient, this doesn’t mean you will both get the same amount. Mistakes in medical care affect each patient in unique ways. Important factors that often influence settlement amounts include the following.
- The general health of the patient
- Patient’s career and job requirements
- The age of the patient
- Insurance coverage of the patient
Potential Compensation for Hospital Negligence
The potential compensation available for injured patients usually includes both economic and non-economic damages. We outline the specifics of each below.
- Current and future wages that were lost
- Current and future medical costs
- Physical therapy costs
- In cases of wrongful death, funeral expenses and burial expenses
- Loss of life enjoyment
- Loss of consortium
- Pain and suffering
- Mental and emotional anguish
- Disfigurement of the patient’s body
Contact Our Hospital Negligence Lawyers Today
If you suffered injuries or illness due to medical negligence, you need the experienced Southfield personal injury lawyers at Lipton Law. We have successfully handled many different medical malpractice cases, including those involving doctor malpractice and nurse malpractice. For more information about how we can help you, please call 248-557-1688 to schedule your free consultation with us. You can also fill out our online intake form.