If you believe you may have been the victim of medical malpractice while under treatment at a hospital, you may be wondering whether you can file a lawsuit against the hospital and what the process of filing a negligence suit against a hospital is like. Below is a brief overview of the process of asserting a medical malpractice claim against a hospital.
Speak to a Medical Malpractice Attorney
Medical malpractice claims are among some of the most complex cases in law. If you think you may have a medical malpractice case against a hospital, you should speak to an attorney or law firm that handles medical malpractice cases to better understand your legal rights and options. Most attorneys and law firms will offer free consultations, and if they agree to take your case, they will do so on a contingency fee basis. This means that the attorney is paid a percentage of your total financial recovery only if and when the attorney recovers compensation for the client. If the attorney loses the case, the client will not be responsible for any legal fees.
Determine Whether the Hospital Has Any Liability
Even though the malpractice you suffered took place at a hospital, it does not necessarily mean that the hospital has liability for the malpractice. When malpractice is committed by a doctor, you will need to determine if the doctor is an employee of the hospital or an independent contractor. Hospitals only have liability for negligent acts and omissions committed by their employees. However, even if a provider isn’t employed by the hospital, you may be able to assert a direct claim of negligence against the hospital by arguing that the hospital negligently granted privileges to the provider who injured you (in other words, the hospital knew or should have known the provider posed a substantial risk of committing malpractice).
Obtain Your Medical Records
Hospitals are required to keep your medical and treatment records on file for a certain period of time following your treatment, so request a copy of whatever records the hospital has for you.
Identify All Liable Parties
Although a hospital may or may not have employer liability for negligence committed by a medical provider, as noted above the hospital may have liability for other forms of negligence. An attorney will need to carefully examine the details of your case to identify all individuals and entities (such as the hospital, or medical practices, or ambulance services) that may be held legally liable to you for your injuries and damages.
Comply with Statute of Limitations and Filing Rules
Under Pennsylvania law, you only have two years from the date on which you suffered negligent medical treatment in which to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. Wait too long, and the court can permanently dismiss your lawsuit.
In addition, medical malpractice cases have certain filing requirements that must be met in order to avoid having the case dismissed at the outset. Chief among these is the requirement to have a medical expert (usually another medical provider with similar specialization and training as the provider whose negligence caused you harm) render an opinion as to the applicable standard of care and how your provider’s treatment fell below this standard; this requirement is meant to weed out frivolous medical malpractice claims from being filed in court.
Contact A Medical Malpractice Attorney for a Consultation About Your Hospital Negligence Case in Pennsylvania
Were you or a loved one injured due to medical malpractice in Pennsylvania? Then you need to talk to an experienced medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible for guidance on how to proceed. The Lansdale hospital negligence attorneys at Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, P.C. are prepared to assist you with your legal claim. We represent victims of negligent surgeons, doctors, nurses, and pharmacists throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania, including Doylestown, Lansdale, King of Prussia, and Norristown. Call us today at (215) 822-7575 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation. Our main office is located at 2605 N. Broad St. Colmar, PA 18915, and we also have an office in Newtown, Pennsylvania.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.