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Hospital Liability for Wrongful Death

Posted on September 30, 2016

When a wrongful death claims stems from the negligent medical care of hospital staff, the victim’s family may have a claim based on medical malpractice. 

In order to show that the medical professional is liable for a patient’s injuries, it must be shown that a physician-patient relationship existed, the physician or medical professional was negligent, the negligent behavior resulted in the patient’s injury, and damages resulted from that injury. Negligent medical care can range from surgical errors to misdiagnosis and mistakes in dosing of medication, some of which may result in a wrongful, preventable patient death. Depending on the circumstances, the role of the hospital and medical professionals, fault will be attributed to various parties.

When Hospitals are Liable

When a hospital hosts medical staff, they will be liable for their actions and mistakes, if those medical providers, which include doctors, nurses, as well as additional health care staff that serve various roles, are employed by the hospital and the hospital was negligent in their hiring and supervising practices, maintaining, repairing equipment, and managing the hospital care providers. Some examples of negligent conduct include failing to verify credentials of medical providers to be properly licensed, failing to reprimand unsafe and unregulated practices, failing to maintain proper safety and health protocol, among others. In 2014 in Oklahoma City, the VA hospital came into the spotlight due to the reporting of a number of preventable deaths that resulted from hospital negligence, notably, failure to notify a family of at-risk patient discharge, a patient choking to death on contents of his own stomach post-surgery, and infection complications post surgery.

These claims can become difficult when a physician or nurse was not employed by the hospital, but was at the hospital performing the procedure. When the medical provider is not an employee of the hospital, they are considered an independent contractor and thus independently responsible for their medical malpractice. Determining employment status as employee or independent contractor depends on the control the hospital has over the provider, including their performance, schedule, and conditions.

Tulsa Wrongful Death Lawyer

If you or someone you know was the victim of medical malpractice or wrongful death, please do not hesitate to reach out to the experienced and knowledgeable team of attorneys at the office of Charles Bryan Alred, PC to discuss your case. Contact our office using our website or call us at 918-745-9960 for a free initial consultation with one of our skilled legal professionals.