Cases of hospital negligence can result in serious injuries and, in some cases, patient death. If you or someone in your family has been injured because of hospital negligence, you may have the right to file a lawsuit. The results could entitle you to receive compensation for medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other economic and non-economic losses.
It is best to hire an attorney to help you understand whether or not you have a case and to help you know what information needs to be gathered to handle this process successfully. Keep in mind that there is a statute of limitations regarding how long you have to make a claim, so you need to act fast.
The Difference Between Hospital Negligence and Medical Malpractice
While the terms medical malpractice and hospital negligence can overlap and, in many situations do, each of these terms have unique characteristics. Hospital negligence directly relates to cases of malpractice when caused by aides, nurses, doctors and other staff, but the legal reach extends further. In some cases, these situations consist of inadequate supervision or staffing, as well as the use of un-inspected or outdated equipment.
Examples of Hospital Negligence Situations
Hospital negligence can occur in a number of different situations and have a number of different causes. When you get to know what these are, you can better understand if you or your loved one has been a victim of medical malpractice, hospital negligence, or both (in many cases).
Poor Triage in the Emergency Room
From the moment you walk into the hospital, you should receive superior care from each staff member who helps you. When you initially arrive, the triage nurse is going to assess your injuries or condition and determine how serious it is. If the assessment is inadequate and your ailment becomes worse because of a delay caused by this assessment, then you are considered a victim of hospital negligence.
The Transmission of a Disease or Infection
Another situation where hospital negligence would come into play is if you contract some type of disease or infection while receiving treatment in a hospital. As you know, the hospital is full of sick people. However, the staff are supposed to have practices in place that prevent patients from contracting any diseases or infections while they are being cared for. If the protocol isn’t followed, or it doesn’t work, and some individual contracts a new disease or infection, this is also considered hospital negligence.
The most common situation when this occurs is a patient contracting MRSA while they are in the hospital. There are also instances where improper care of machines used in hospitals can result in infections that can harm patients. In 2016 two lawsuits were filed after a patient died after contracting infections from machines that weren’t properly cleaned; another patient survived but also brought suit against the hospital.
Failure to Follow Proper Protocol
There are a number of situations where a doctor, nurse or technician may also fail to follow the proper hospital protocol. Examples of this include a technician who does not use gloves or who does not retrieve sterile equipment during any type of testing. If this results in the patient developing a new illness, it is considered hospital negligence.
Hospital Negligence Example: Early Discharge of a Patient
There are several reasons a hospital may discharge a patient early. If this is done when the individual is still showing signs of an infection, heart attack or stroke, serious issues may arise, including death. While these cases are often handled as medical malpractice, they also qualify as hospital negligence.
Signs You May be a Victim of Hospital Negligence
Even though it may be difficult to determine if you are a victim of hospital negligence in the beginning, some signs and symptoms to be aware of are highlighted here.
The administered treatment is no longer working
If you are being actively treated for something, but the treatment is not working, then you could have been misdiagnosed. If this happens, you are still at risk of suffering even more injuries.
The symptoms don’t correspond to your diagnosis
If you believe that your symptoms don’t go along with your diagnosis, then you may have been misdiagnosed. This can have a number of long-term consequences, as mentioned before.
You received different diagnoses from different doctors
If you are diagnosed as having a serious condition that requires surgery, then it is a good idea to seek a second opinion. If you receive two completely different diagnoses, then you may want to consider if one doctor was negligent.
Your doctor used just the results of a lab test to make a diagnosis.
Just like a doctor or hospital, the lab technicians may also make mistakes. You can ask questions regarding the tests and even have them retaken if you don’t have any symptoms or signs of the condition you have been diagnosed with.
Your doctor doesn’t address your concerns or provide them with sufficient attention.
If a doctor diagnoses you with an illness or condition, you need to make sure your doctor has all the information needed to determine a plan for treatment. If the doctor appears to be rushed or unconcerned if you are receiving proper treatment, it may be a case of hospital negligence.
If you are concerned that you or someone you love is a victim of hospital negligence, the best thing you can do is hire a personal injury attorney. They can review your situation and determine whether or not conditions to claim hospital negligence are present. If they are, the attorney can begin to review the facts and build a case to help you acquire a fair settlement.
Unfortunately, cases of hospital neglect are extremely common. If you fail to hire legal representation, you may find that paying for the long-term consequences of these issues is extremely difficult, if not impossible. If you are trying to find answers about your situation or would like professional legal advice, don’t hesitate to contact the Badgley Law Group by calling 407-781-0420. Having a quality legal team help you figure out what rights you have is the best way to know if you can recover compensation.