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Can I sue a hospital for negligence?

If you have been hurt or lost a loved one after receiving treatment in a hospital, you could have grounds to pursue a medical malpractice claim. However, this is much easier said than done as you will need to prove that the negligence caused or contributed to your injuries and identify the negligent party.

Oftentimes, people assume that it is only a specific doctor or nurse who will be held accountable. However, hospitals can also be named in medical negligence claims, but there are some important things you should understand if you want to sue a hospital

  1. Hospitals have more resources than individual doctors do. This means that they can and often do go to great lengths to defend themselves against malpractice claims; they can also seek settlements for a fraction of what a court might award a victim. On the other hand, in the event that a court rules against a hospital, the chances of receiving all or more of a settlement is higher than if it were just an individual party.
  2. Hospitals aren't always responsible for doctor or nurse negligence. If a doctor made a mistake or infection-causing contamination resulted from a careless staff member, a hospital could be held responsible for that individual's actions thanks to vicarious liability laws. However, if the negligent party is not an employee of the hospital, these liability laws would not apply and the hospital may not be responsible.
  3. It may not always be clear if a hospital was negligent. Bad things can happen in hospitals, from criminal activity to sickness and loss. However, these events may not stem from negligence; they could happen in spite of the best efforts of hospital administration and employees.

These are just a few of the many things to keep in mind if you are considering filing a medical malpractice claim against any party, including a hospital. There are many other factors you will need to take into account that will depend on the specifics of your situation, so it is critical to consult an attorney with any questions you may have regarding the filing of a medical malpractice claim.

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