When Do You Need Experienced Hospital Negligence Lawyers?
Hospitals are places we rely on as sanctuaries. Many can credit hospitals with saving their lives, and families frequently welcome new babies under a hospital’s care. That is why the issue of hospital negligence is so profound, and why it’s important to hold wrongdoers responsible for the consequences.
We at Osborne & Francis have an extensive history of representing medical and healthcare-related cases. When the people and institutions meant to heal us instead cause harm, we do everything in our power to hold them accountable. Most importantly, we work to make sure you are fully compensated for your injuries so that you have all the resources available for recovery.
If you need an immediate consultation, call Osborne & Francis at (561) 293-2600 to discuss your situation. For more information on what qualifies as hospital negligence, read on.
What Is Hospital Negligence? (Specific Examples)
The basic legal definition of “negligence” is: a failure to behave with the level of care that a person in the same situation would perform. For example, a negligent action may mean throwing a lit match in a dry, forested area, without regard that it may cause a fire. A negligent inaction would be failing to stop that fire or call for help.
Hospital negligence begins with the higher standard of care owed to patients from anyone working in the healthcare field. This includes surgeons, doctors, and nurses, as well as administrative, technician, and janitorial staff in hospitals. Examples include:
- Failing to diagnose and promptly follow-up on symptoms
- Neglecting to order proper diagnostic tests or misinterpreting test results
- Failing to provide proper nutrition according to the patient’s specific needs
- Dispensing incorrect types or dosages of medication
- Surgical errors such as using unsterilized or inappropriate equipment and tools, or improperly administering anesthesia
- Failing to maintain accurate records in accordance with medical regulations
- Premature discharge of a patient still in need of medical care
These are only examples of ways hospital negligence may occur. If you were injured while under a hospital’s care, contact Osborne & Francis by calling (561) 293-2600 to explain your circumstances, and secure representation right away.
Can You Sue a Hospital for Negligence?
Suing a hospital for negligence is your right if you have been injured due to mistreatment. Understanding the structure of a hospital may help explain the levels of care these institutions must provide.
Various types of hospital negligence may include:
- Employee error: If a patient is injured by a member of the hospital’s own staff while they perform job-related functions (nursing, scanning, cleaning, etc.), then the hospital may be held liable for the injury as that person’s employer.
- Hiring failures: If a hospital fails to hire or schedule the proper amount of workers for the area’s needs, it may be considered negligence. Likewise if a hospital employs incompetent workers to fill that quota, they may be liable for the consequences.
- Supply shortages: If the administration of a hospital fails to properly stock enough inventory of medical and cleaning supplies, any injury (like infection) which results may be considered a matter of hospital negligence.
- Improper protocols: If the procedures set forth by the hospital are unsafe or leave gaps in care and monitoring, it may not be a low-level staff member’s sole responsibility for the injuries that could be caused. The hospital is required to set the minimum standards of care and processing.
- Documentation failures: Disorganization sounds like a minor mistake, but in hospitals it is a life-and-death matter. Messy or irregular filing could lead to denying care based on insurance misunderstandings, over- or under-medicating, or missing key symptoms and/or medical history (like previous adverse reactions or underlying conditions).
Doctors and surgeons are often independent contractors in hospitals, responsible for their own instances of medical malpractice. However, hospitals sometimes directly employ physicians, as well as many other staff members. These workers may each hold a higher level of responsibility for patient care than anyone who is not employed in a healthcare field.
Reach out to an experienced hospital negligence lawyer to learn more about your rights. Compensation may be available to help you seek proper care.
By pursuing a hospital negligence case, you may be able to access financial resources to aid your own recovery—you may also help change hospital protocols for the safety of future patients.
How Could a Hospital Negligence Settlement Help You?
A successful settlement or verdict for a hospital negligence case could mean financial coverage for:
- Medical bills for past care and future treatment needs
- Lost wages or work opportunities due to your injuries
- Pain and suffering both physical and psychological (depression, PTSD, fatigue)
- Punitive damages, which are funds charged to punish wrongdoers and then awarded to you on top of your other compensations
- Wrongful death expenses like funeral costs and loss of income/support if a hospital’s error led to the death of your loved one
These forms of compensation could greatly improve your health and the financial well-being of your family going forward. In addition, bringing a legal suit against a hospital can help improve their protocols or remove incompetant staff, and thus potentially save the lives of future patients.
What Are Client Reviews for Osborne & Francis?
Hear what our previous clients have to say about the service provided by Osborne & Francis:
"The Osborne & Francis staff were amazing! Our case was HUGE and required tender loving care. We were given step by step updates and put at ease when our nerves got the best of us. For every inquiry we made we received a timely response. Thanks for your diligence and attention to the small details that could’ve impacted the outcome of our case. You are appreciated!"
"I couldn’t have asked for a better lawyer or firm. Everything was done professionally exactly how I wanted. My personal attorney Benjamin Garcia was able to make things work in a timely manner. Overall, I’m happy with how my case turned out and I would recommend him and this law firm to anyone. 100% satisfied."
"I am so thankful for the entire staff at Osborne & Francis Law, for mentoring me through the mediation process with my hip replacement failures. I didn't realize how much pressure they relieved me of by helping me deal with the reality of this traumatic time in my life. My family is grateful, we are living life to the fullest once again! Thank you Joe Osborne and all the support staff who worked diligently to turn a difficult situation into a positive monetary outcome."
How Can You Contact a Hospital Negligence Attorney?
Hospital negligence can be a lesser-known cause of injury and harm in the medical field. While many people are immediately aware when they’ve suffered surgical or prescription errors, hospital errors often occur unseen.
If you’ve received poor treatment at a hospital or clinic that caused or worsened your injury, speak with an attorney about your options. An experienced lawyer will know the ins and outs of how to sue a hospital for negligence, and hold those responsible accountable in court.
Osborne & Francis Law Firm can be reached via our online contact form or by calling (561) 293-2600 for a free, confidential consultation. There is no excuse to be made for improper medical treatment, and we are here to help you seek justice under the law.
Hospital Negligence FAQs
Medication errors are the most common source of hospital negligence instances. This is due to many aspects of hospital care, including:
- The regular influx of new patients needing attention
- Multiple patients needing similar care at once
- Short staffing and overwhelming care volume
- Communication failures (whether written or verbal) between prescribing physicians, pharmacists, and the administering nurse or technician
- Computer or other technology errors that can delay medication administration
Sometimes yes, and sometimes no. Medical malpractice is when a physician or other healthcare professional causes injury to a patient through a negligent action or inaction (omission). However, there are other hospital errors that can cause injury due to the structure, equipment usage, and administration of a hospital.
Hospital negligence is its own special category that sometimes overlaps with malpractice. Non-malpractice forms of negligence can still be addressed by the law.
Suing a hospital for negligence involves gathering four elements of proof, which are sometimes referred to as the four Ds:
- Duty: Show that there was a duty of care owed from one person or entity to another
- Dereliction: Provide evidence that there was a “dereliction” or failure of that duty
- Direct cause: Draw a direct connection between that dereliction of duty to the client’s injuries
- Damages: Describe those injuries in the form of “damages” or costs endured by the patient in economic and noneconomic hardship
Each of these four elements must be proven by your attorney in order to win your case or negotiate a fair settlement.
The offices of Osborne & Francis are headquartered in Florida, where the statute of limitations, aka the filing deadline, for medical malpractice cases is two years after the date of the injury.
However, there is an exception up to four years if the injury wasn’t immediately discoverable (like hidden gauze left inside a patient after surgery), and can be extended further if there was a criminal cover-up of injury (fraud or concealment).