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When can a hospital be held liable for medical malpractice?

No one is perfect and all humans make mistakes. While some mistakes, such as turning left instead of right, are seemingly innocuous, others can have serious consequences. For example, even the slightest misjudgment made by a medical care provider can have devastating consequences for a patient. While many people in Wisconsin know that they can file medical malpractice lawsuits against negligent medical care providers, many people are unaware that the hospitals employing the providers could also be held liable.

There are several different scenarios in which a hospital could be held liable for the negligent acts of its employees. Before any patients are seen by a member of staff, certain steps must be followed by the hospital. The hospital must make a reasonable attempt to verify an employee's education and licenses before allowing him or her to treat patients. If the hospital fails to do so, it could be held liable for the employee's negligence.

Additionally, a hospital must ensure that is it properly staffed. If a person is harmed because there are not enough registered nurses on duty, thus reducing the quality of care provided, it could be held liable. Hospitals could also face legal repercussions if a patient is harmed because an employee fails to follow a physician's orders. There are a variety of other failures that could result in a medical malpractice claim against a hospital, including refusing treatment, failing to protect patients and keeping inaccurate medical records, among others.

For people in Wisconsin who are victims of medical malpractice, it is important to discuss the cases with experienced attorneys who can review the facts of the cases and help decide on the best courses of action. Because of the nature of the claims, those injured by medical professionals may benefit from having such conversations as soon as possible. By pursuing litigation, a victim could receive monetary damages to help with the results of such negligence, and future patients could also be protected from similar actions.

Source: FindLaw, "Medical Malpractice: Who Can Be Sued?", Accessed on Feb. 18, 2015

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Godfrey, Leibsle, Blackbourn & Howarth, S.C.

Godfrey, Leibsle,
Blackbourn & Howarth, S.C.

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