If you suffered an injury caused by medical malpractice, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the hospital or medical facility where you were treated.
However, hospital negligence cases can be even more complicated than other medical malpractice cases. That is why you should strongly consider hiring an experienced Savannah hospital negligence lawyer to assist you with the legal process. The attorneys at Roden Law know how to investigate your situation to build a strong case and help you pursue all of the compensation you deserve.
At Roden Law, we offer a free, no obligation legal consultation where you can discuss what happened and we can determine if you have legal options. If you have grounds for a lawsuit and decide to move forward, you will not be charged legal fees unless you recover compensation.
Hospital Liability for Employee Negligence
Many hospital negligence cases are based on the legal theory of vicarious liability, which says that one entity can be held liable for the actions of another. In other words, our hospital negligence lawyers in Savannah can try to hold the facility liable for medical malpractice committed by employees of the hospital, such as:
- Medical assistants
- Support staff
- Physical therapists
- Occupational therapists
A hospital could be held liable for many negligent actions committed by these employees, including:
- Failing to monitor a patient
- Performing surgery on the wrong body part
- Leaving surgical instruments inside a patient
- Leaving a patient under anesthesia for too long
- Operating on a patient without obtaining informed consent
- Misdiagnosing an illness
- Prescribing a medication that causes an allergic reaction
- Making a surgical error
If you think the hospital could be liable for the actions of one of its employees, contact a Savannah medical malpractice lawyer from our firm for a free legal consultation.
Proving an Employment Relationship
If you plan to use the theory of vicarious liability, you must prove the health care professional who treated you had an employment relationship with the hospital when your injury occurred, according to Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A.) 51-2-5.1(b). If you cannot establish an employment relationship, the hospital may be able to avoid liability.
O.C.G.A. 51-2-5.1(f) states that the employment relationship will be determined by the language of the contract between the medical professional and the facility. If the language of the contract is unclear, our Savannah hospital negligence lawyers must show with a preponderance of evidence that the facility reserved the right to control the time, manner and method in which the provider performs services.
O.C.G.A. 51-2-5.1(g)(1) says there are certain factors that will be considered evidence of an employment relationship:
- Both parties believed they were in an employment relationship
- The medical professional receives the same benefits as actual employees of the hospital
- The hospital directs the health care provider's work in a step-by-step manner
- The hospital can terminate the health care professional's services at its own will without cause or notice
- The hospital must withhold federal and state taxes from the health care provider's checks
However, some factors cannot be considered evidence of an employment relationship:
- Paying the health care professional on an hourly basis
- Providing facilities or equipment
- The fact the health care professional does not have a separate practice outside the hospital
- The source of payment for the individual's professional liability insurance premium
- Fees for services being billed by the hospital
- A requirement from the hospital that the professional satisfy standards of care, federal or state regulations, accreditation standards or guidelines adopted by hospitals or health care professionals
The experienced Savannah hospital negligence attorneys at our firm have a detailed understanding of how to prove a medical professional was an employee of a hospital. We are prepared to launch a thorough investigation to discover if there was an employment relationship.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form today to contact Roden Law.
Liability for Independent Contractors
Hospitals cannot be held liable for the actions of independent contractors, provided they comply with the notice provisions listed in O.C.G.A. 51-2-5.1(b). This section says no hospital can be held liable if it posts a notice with language similar to this:
"Some or all of the health care professionals performing services in this hospital are independent contractors and are not hospital agents or employees. Independent contractors are responsible for their own actions and the hospital shall not be liable for the acts or omissions of any such independent contractors."
This notice must be posted in a visible location in the hospital lobby or a public area and must contain print that is at least one inch high. The hospital must have the patient or his or her personal representative sign an acknowledgement of the notice.
Discuss your case with a Savannah hospital negligence lawyer today.
Negligence by the Hospital
While many hospital negligence cases are based on the negligent actions of hospital employees, others are based on negligence by the hospital itself.
There are many examples of hospital negligence that can cause injuries to patients, such as:
- Hiring unqualified staff members – If our hospital negligence lawyers in Savannah can show the hospital should not have hired the employee who caused your injury, you might have grounds for a lawsuit. For example, we might have a case if the employee did not pass a background check or have the proper credentials for the work he or she was performing.
- Failing to terminate incompetent employees – We might be able to show that a health care provider should have been fired because he or she was incompetent or had multiple complaints against him or her.
- Failing to properly train staff members – Even though many medical professionals have degrees and certifications, they need to receive proper training on hospital protocols to help ensure patients are treated properly.
- Understaffing – A hospital could potentially be held liable for not having the right ratio of nurses to patients. If hospitals do not have enough staff members, patients could suffer injuries because they are not being properly cared for.
- Having unsanitary facilities – Some hospitals do not have the proper policies to keep their facilities and equipment sanitary. If our attorneys can show you suffered an infection because of inadequate policies on staff hygiene or cleaning of the facility, the hospital could potentially be held liable.
- Failing to replace malfunctioning or defective equipment – Hospitals might be held liable for defective equipment if our hospital negligence attorneys in Savannah can show this equipment caused you to suffer an injury.
We know how to carefully analyze your situation to determine if your injuries were a result of policies, procedures or actions the hospital failed to take.
Contact us today to discuss your hospital negligence claim.
How to Prove Negligence
Our hospital negligence attorneys in Savannah need to prove four things to have a chance of helping you recover compensation for your injuries:
- There was a duty of care – A duty of care is a legal obligation to provide care that meets accepted standards in the medical profession. In other words, a doctor must provide care that is similar to the care that would have been provided by another similarly-trained medical professional in a similar situation. In a hospital negligence case, we may need to show that the hospital was required to provide an adequate number of staff members or ensure facilities were clean.
- The duty of care was breached – This means the medical professional or hospital did not fulfill the duty of care that applied to the situation.
- Link between the breach and your injuries – There is no case unless we can show the hospital or its employee's negligence caused you to suffer injuries. This usually means we need to disprove claims from the other side that your injuries were the result of something other than negligence.
- There were damages – This means your injuries caused you to suffer physical, financial or emotional damages, like medical expenses, physical pain or lost wages.
Our Savannah hospital negligence lawyers have detailed knowledge of these different requirements and what we need to do to prove each one.
When we review your situation in a free legal consultation, we will determine whether it makes sense to pursue a case. We will only recommend doing what is in your best interest.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form right now.
Contact a Savannah Hospital Negligence Lawyer Right Now
Are you a victim of hospital negligence?
You should consider contacting a Savannah hospital negligence attorney to review your situation and determine your legal options. We may be able to help you obtain compensation for the damages you have suffered.
We understand the complexities of these cases and what it takes to be successful. We can manage every aspect of the legal process so you are free to focus on your recovery.
We do not charge for our services unless you receive fair compensation at the end of the legal process through a settlement or jury verdict.