Suing a Hospital for Malpractice or Negligence
If you’ve thought about suing a hospital for malpractice or negligence, you’re not alone. Considering that patients and their loved ones go to hospitals to get care they would not otherwise get, it’s often very staggering when the hospital becomes the cause of further injury or even death. Although hospitals are generally held accountable for the incompetence or negligence of their staff, there are some cases in which the hospital cannot be held liable. This legal red tape can be extremely frustrating for victims, so it’s important to know when a hospital can and cannot he held liable for staff’s actions.
The most commonplace legal approach for suing a hospital is medical malpractice. Medical malpractice occurs when medical personnel or professional fails to take the necessary precautions to provide the right treatment or gives substandard treatment to a patient, resulting in an injury or death. Medical professionals are held to a high standard of care as a result of their job, which explains the common nature of such lawsuits. However, there are other legal theories like wrongful death cases, discrimination, or negligence.
With the complexity of the legal approaches to suing hospitals, the process can be brutal for a grieving or ailing defendant. This is where DoNotPay comes in. The first robot lawyer making legal support affordable and readily accessible is out to make suing hospitals for malpractice and other violations easy. But before getting into the easy process of filing a claim in a Small Claims Court with DoNotPay, it’s important to discuss the different scenarios that call for a lawsuit against a hospital.
When Can You Sue a Hospital for Malpractice or Negligence?
These are the different instances when you can sue a hospital for negligence:
- Getting a wrong diagnosis or treatment from medical professionals. This was the case when Jessie White sued the St Matthews Medical Center after doctors assumed he was in labor and performed a C-section on him, before realizing he was not pregnant and did not have a uterus.
- You are given the wrong medication. This includes prescribing medication you are allergic to or prescribing the wrong medication for your case.
- Surgical errors. This includes surgeons performing an operation on the wrong area, sewing you up the wrong way, or forgetting objects and instruments in your body after the surgery.
- The standard of care was not upheld by the medical professional. The standard of care is simply the reasonable level of attention and prudence expected from a professional with the same background as the professional in question.
- Dangerous and careless actions by hospital staff. This includes not properly sanitizing equipment, or reusing needles.
- The wrongful death of a family member. An example of this is Eddie Money’s family suing the hospital for carelessly diagnosing his condition, leading to his “untimely and unnecessary death”.
- Discrimination. This occurs if you are being unfavorably treated by hospital staff because of your race, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, religion, or national origin. A clear case of discrimination was a trans man, Jesse Hammonds who sued the University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center, for refusing to perform a hysterectomy, which was an important part of his gender-affirming plan.
Whatever the case you’re making against a hospital, you need to be sure to act before the statute of limitations for the state. Every state has a statute of limitations for medical claims; after the deadline, your case would not stand in any court.
How to Sue a Hospital in a Small Claims Court
These are the standard steps you would have to take when filing a claim against a hospital:
- Determine whether to sue an individual or the hospital. Just because the injury was sustained in a hospital does not mean the hospital is liable. You will only sue the hospital if the individual whose actions caused the injury was an employed staff member at the time and if the incident occurred while they were performing a task related to their job.
- Obtain all relevant medical records. Be sure to get all medical records related to the injury you are suing for. The hospital should have it on file and must accept to give you a copy upon request.
- Determine the monetary value of all damages. Take a record of all damages suffered as a result of the injury. These could include medical expenses, emotional trauma, a drop in the quality of life or a loss of income. Determine what monetary value you’re willing to attribute to the damages, making sure they qualify to a Small Claims Court.
- File your complaint. File and submit your complaint to the Small Claims Court Clerk, upon which you will get a demand letter to deliver to the hospital. This demand letter, including a summary of the claim and the damages requested, will give them a chance to settle before it proceeds to trial.
- Take them to court. If they don’t settle, file a lawsuit against them, serve them, and prepare to make your case at the trial.
Damages Awarded for Malpractice or Negligence
One of the main benefits of suing a hospital for malpractice is the damages awarded to the Plaintiff if they can successfully make and win their case. These damages are primarily general, punitive, and special damages.
|General damages||These include emotional trauma, a lesser quality of life, or a loss of ability to enjoy life|
|Punitive damages||You must provide proof that the medical professional was aware of their malpractice or negligence. This serves as a deterrent for others to avoid similar behavior|
|Special damages||These are mainly monetary damages incurred as a result of the injury. This could include medical bills (including past, current and future bills) related to the injury, or the loss of income as a result of the injury|
How DoNotPay Helps You File a Claim against a Hospital
You can avoid the long standard process and take legal action against a hospital with DoNotPay’s 4 simple steps:
- Log-in to DoNotPay and select the Sue Now Product.
- Then, state the amount you are owed in dollars.
- https://donotpay.com/suing-a-hospital-for-malpractice-or-negligenceChoose either a demand letter or court filing forms.
- Finally, describe the reason for the lawsuit and submit any applicable details, including medical records and other pieces of evidence.
- That’s it! DoNotPay generates the demand letter of the court filing forms. You can even have a copy of the demand letter sent to the accused hospital on your behalf!
Other Legal Services Offered by DoNotPay
Apart from legal support for taking action against a hospital, DoNotPay offers other services like:
- Support for suing a company without a lawyer
- Taking major companies to court like Uber, Verizon, and AT&T
- Suing an airline
- Suing insurance companies