When Can a Patient Sue a Hospital?

Hospitals can be very chaotic environments. But even when they aren’t chaotic, mistakes can still happen. Unfortunately, medical mistakes and medical negligence are not uncommon events, especially in the hospital setting. Doctors and nurses are only human, and when they’re operating on too little sleep, or when they’re multitasking, they can easily make a mistake just like anyone else.

The problem is that medical errors in hospitals can lead to wrong-site surgeries, deadly overdoses, infections, heart attacks, birth injuries, oxygen deprivation, and so much more. So, if you were injured by a hospital, you may be wondering if and when you can sue the hospital for medical malpractice. The answer depends on the facts of the case.

Who Made the Mistake?

When it comes to filing a medical malpractice lawsuit against a hospital, the first question any attorney would have is, “Who made the mistake?” Was it a doctor, a nurse, or a medical technician? If it was definitely the doctor, the hospital may not be on the hook and here’s why: hospitals are generally responsible for the mistakes made by their employees, but most of the time, doctors are not employees, they are independent contractors.

If you were injured by a doctor or surgeon at a hospital, it will be very important to find out if the doctor was an employee of the hospital or an independent contractor. Generally, doctors are independent contractors and, in that case, the doctor would be liable for the malpractice, not the hospital. On the other hand, if the doctor or employee responsible for your injuries was an employee of the hospital, then the hospital would be legally liable for the medical error. Typically, doctors are independent contractors, but registered nurses and medical technicians are employed by hospitals.

If you wish to file a medical malpractice claim in Texas against a doctor or a hospital, you have to file the claim within two years of the date of the treatment – this is referred to the statute of limitations (deadline to file a claim) and it is covered under Section 74.251 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code. However, children under the age of 12 have until their 14th birthday to file a claim or have such a claim filed on their behalf.

To learn more about filing a medical malpractice claim in Texas, contact The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC today.

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