3 Common Forms of Negligence in Hospitals


When we hear “injured in a hospital,” our minds tend to go to the worst case scenarios; we imagine doctors missing cancer diagnoses, amputating the wrong limbs, and even allowing patients to die on the operating table. All of these mistakes seem so large that many people have trouble believing that they too could be the victims of negligence and medical malpractice. However, these cases are more common than you’d like to believe, and the best way to protect yourself is to be informed.

Negligent Staff:

In plain English, negligence is when a person fails to take reasonable care in preventing foreseeable accidents. The most common lawsuits involving medical staff are negligent hiring, negligent retention, and negligent supervision. Medical facilities are responsible for ensuring that their employees are qualified for their occupations, and that their employees do not have a history of conduct that may harm residents. Facilities are also responsible for adequately supervising patients. If medical staff have failed you or your family in this way, you may be eligible for compensation for their negligence. When you think “staff” you may think of nurses, orderlies, and other workers, but doctors can be employees of medical facilities also and the same duties regarding hiring and supervision apply to doctors too. 

Premises Liability:

Another type of negligence commonly seen in medical institutions is premises liability. Hospitals, assisted living centers, and residential treatment facilities alike are responsible for ensuring that their facilities are safe and clean environments. If residents, patients, or visitors are injured due to a facility’s negligence, the claim would fall under premises liability. The classic example of premises liability is when a person slips or falls on liquid that has not been cleaned up. However, premises liability can come in many different forms. A medical facility might also face a premises liability claim if they serve contaminated food. Alternatively, a lawsuit may also occur if failure to keep the facility clean results in outbreaks of disease.

Medical Malpractice:

Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor is negligent and fails to uphold certain standards of care. However, medical malpractice lawsuits often occur when a doctor fails to correctly diagnose fatal diseases such as cancer. Medical malpractice may also happen when doctors order unnecessary surgeries or even perform incorrect procedures. Cases of medical malpractice can be extremely severe; several cases have even included patients having the wrong limbs amputated. Just recently, a Colorado teen suffered brain damage after a surgeon left the patient unattended after administering the anesthesia. The worst cases of medical malpractice result in lifetime disability or death.

How to Protect Yourself and Your Loved Ones:

If you or a loved one is about to be admitted to a hospital or residential treatment program, it is important to know how to protect yourself. If there is time before you are admitted, make sure to take a tour of the facility. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. You should be comfortable with your doctors and others at the facility and have a good relationship with them before entrusting them with your future health and possibly your life. If you have a loved one in a residential treatment facility, make sure you visit them often. When visiting a loved one in a treatment facility, check for signs of abuse or neglect. Pay attention to the other residents as well when looking for signs of neglect or abuse. The vast majority of medical professionals care about patients and want to do a good job, but mistakes can and do happen. Taking some extra time, looking around, and asking questions can help you double-check that everything is going the way that it should and give you the best chance for a good outcome.

When Negligence Has Harmed You or Your Family:

Negligence at medical facilities and medical malpractice are both far more common than anyone is comfortable with. If your loved one has been injured due to negligence and medical malpractice, Moxie Law Group is here for you.We can give you the information you need to protect yourself and your loved ones. If you have questions about negligence or medical malpractice, do not hesitate to contact us today.