By Class Action Jen (Jennifer Malainy)
When you visit a hospital for treatment, the last thing you expect to leave with is an injury induced by the very institution intended to heal. However, due to various factors, such as negligence or incompetence, such incidents do occur, leaving patients with the question, “Can I sue a hospital after an injury?” The answer is a resounding yes, but the process, known as a medical malpractice lawsuit, can be complex and requires a thorough understanding of the law.
Let’s shed light on the legal processes involved in such lawsuits and provide guidance on when it might be appropriate to take legal action against a hospital.
4 Reasons Why You Could Actually Sue a Hospital
In order to sue a hospital, you typically need to prove that the hospital or its staff acted negligently. Generally speaking, this requires evidence of four things:
Misdiagnosis of a Medical Condition
Medical malpractice lawsuits often involve cases of incorrect diagnoses. If a hospital misdiagnoses a medical condition or fails to diagnose it altogether, and the patient suffers harm due to this negligence, then the hospital can be held liable.
Errors During Surgery
Another common form of medical malpractice involves errors during surgery. Examples include wrong-site surgeries, wrong-patient surgery, and surgical instruments being left inside the body during closure. In these cases the hospital can be held responsible for any undue harm suffered by the patient.
Negligence During Prescription Drug Administration
Negligence on behalf of hospital staff can also lead to serious injury or death when administering prescribed medications. If a hospital administers the wrong drug or incorrect dosage, then they can be held liable for any resulting harm.
Inadequate Patient Care
Finally, inadequate patient care can lead to medical malpractice lawsuits. If a hospital fails to provide adequate care (such as delayed treatment) and this leads to injury or death of a patient, then the hospital may be sued.
The Legal Process of Suing a Hospital
There are certain steps that must be taken before filing a lawsuit against a hospital. Depending on the state in which you live, there are usually certain requirements you must fulfill to ensure your case is valid. Some general steps include:
1. Filing a Complaint
The first step in the legal process is to file a complaint with the state medical board and hospital administrator. This will alert them of the problem and provide an opportunity for discussion before initiating a lawsuit.
2. Retaining an Attorney
Once you have filed your complaint, it’s important to find an experienced lawyer who specializes in medical malpractice cases. Depending on the complexity of your case, you may also need other professionals, such as medical experts and investigators.
3. Obtaining Evidence
Once you have filed a complaint and retained an attorney, the next step is to gather all necessary evidence for your case. This can include medical records, witness accounts, and any documentation that supports your claims.
4. Trial Preparation
After gathering the necessary evidence, you and your lawyer will need to prepare for trial. This includes filing any motions that may be applicable in your case, negotiating a settlement if desired, and preparing for the actual trial proceedings.
Legal Support for Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
A personal injury lawyer plays an essential role in a medical malpractice lawsuit. They play the role of a legal advocate who is well-versed in the nuances of medical malpractice law. Their expertise lies in identifying whether negligence has occurred, determining the at-fault parties, and proving that this negligence caused injury to the patient.
In a medical malpractice case, they will guide you through the complexities of the legal process, ensuring all paperwork is filed correctly and on time and presenting the strongest case possible on your behalf. This includes gathering and analyzing medical records, interviewing medical experts, determining the economic and non-economic impacts of the injury, and, if necessary, representing you in court.
Moreover, a personal injury lawyer is instrumental in negotiating settlements. They will strive to secure the maximum compensation for your losses, including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If a fair settlement cannot be reached, your lawyer will then prepare to take the case to trial.
When faced with injury or death due to medical negligence, a lawsuit may be the only way for you to seek justice. Suing a hospital is no small undertaking, however, and requires knowledge of the legal system and access to experienced lawyers.
At Join Class Actions and Siri & Glimstad LLP, we understand the difficulty of filing a medical malpractice lawsuit and can guide you through the process. Our experienced team of personal injury lawyers has expertise in medical malpractice law and will strive to ensure that your rights are protected.
If you have any questions, reach out to Jen Malainy now by filling out this form: Join Class Actions: Medical Malpractice – All States. Jen Malainy (Class Action Jen) has extensive medical and legal education and experience and has worked within the world-renowned hospital, Cleveland Clinic Foundation (CCF). She is available 24/7 at 440-381-0338.