What are my legal rights if I suffer an injury while in the hospital?
A Queens man entered the hospital with pneumonia and left without one of his hands. Jose Polanco is filing a lawsuit against Elmhurst Hospital following his sudden amputation. Polanco states that the city hospital inserted a blood pressure monitoring line into his arm. He claims his arm suffered gangrene following insertion of the line, leading to the amputation of his hand. Polanco now believes the hospital was negligent in placing the line. He is suing the hospital for over one million dollars based on alleged medical malpractice.
Hospitals and Medical Malpractice
When you go to the hospital, whether it be for an emergency, surgery, or planned treatment, you expect that you will receive knowledgeable and thorough medical care. Doctors and medical professionals across the nation have the legal duty to provide patients with care that meets the skill and diligence expected of a reasonably competent physician under the same or similar circumstances. Despite this legal duty, medical malpractice occurs at alarmingly high rates across the nation.
When medical malpractice happens in a hospital, it raises complex liability issues. It is not always clear who is financially liable for injuries suffered in a hospital. In addition, hospitals are generally large, well-funded institutions that will vigorously defend against any medical malpractice claim. This makes it imperative that anyone who suffers an injury while in the hospital that may have been linked to negligence consult with a medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible.
Your right to recover for injuries suffered in the hospital depends, in part, on the ownership of the hospital and its employment structure. Each hospital is unique, with some hospitals being owned by the city or state, while others are privately held. Further, in many hospitals, the doctors are not employees of the hospital, but rather independent contractors, which can add complications to the already tangled web of liability issues. Hospitals can still be held liable for the actions of their independent contractor doctors under some circumstances. Your attorney will assist you in unraveling the network of liability surrounding medical malpractice that happens in the hospital to fight for your best legal outcome.