What Constitutes Hospital Malpractice?

Hospital malpractice statistics are on the rise throughout the United States, including in Florida. The majority of hospital negligence cases involve some kind of mistreatment or serious neglect of a patient.

Hospitals’ insurance companies routinely have deep pockets. However, in malpractice cases, these insurance companies will almost always try to limit their liability exposure—or they may deny liability altogether and vigorously defend any case that is filed and litigated through the Florida court system.

The hospital malpractice lawyers at Dolman Law Group have the medical and legal knowledge and expertise to challenge insurance company liability disputes, negotiate a fair settlement offer with the insurance company that compensates you for your injuries and damages, or, if necessary, litigate your case through the Florida court system to a favorable conclusion.

Hospital Employees who Commit Malpractice

Instances of hospital malpractice or neglect can occur at the hands of any hospital employee, including a physician, nurse, nursing assistant, physical therapist, nurse practitioner, or administrator. Allegations of hospital malpractice usually come about when a health care provider does something that a reasonable provider would not do—or fails to do something that a reasonable provider would do.

Examples of Hospital Malpractice in Florida

Some of the most common examples of New Port Richey, Florida hospital malpractice and neglect include the following:

  • Errors in dispensing or administering patient medication
  • Failing to adequately monitor or treat patients
  • Sexually harassing or abusing patients
  • Physically or verbally abusing patients
  • Intentionally striking or hitting patients
  • Failing to respond to a patient’s call button or request for medical care or attention
  • Mishandling or improperly lifting, turning, or moving patients
  • Failing to keep, record, or maintain accurate and complete treatment records on patients (including patient medication records)
  • Failing to call a doctor or specialist when the situation warrants
  • Failing to properly monitor a patient’s vital statistics
  • Failing to be aware of a patient’s documented medical history and preexisting medical conditions
  • Failing to heed and consider medication warnings and potential drug interactions when administering medication to patients
  • Failing to provide proper patient care and support under the circumstances – especially when patients have special medical needs or limitations
  • Failing to report a serious patient complaint or finding to a doctor or nurse who is on duty  
  • Failing to adequately and appropriately respond to a patient’s needs (including signs or symptoms of injury, stroke, or heart attack)
  • Failing to properly sterilize surgical instruments or equipment
  • Failing to properly communicate with surgical assistants or other members of the hospital staff
  • Misdiagnosing a patient’s medical condition – or diagnosing the medical condition too late in order to avoid complications
  • Improperly performing a surgery or other medical procedure
  • Performing unnecessary surgeries or other medical procedures
  • Prematurely discharging a patient from the hospital

Proving Hospital Malpractice

Florida hospital malpractice cases fall under Florida medical malpractice law. Under Florida’s medical malpractice statute, an injured or abused hospital patient must retain the services of at least one medical expert who will file a sworn affidavit with the court. This affidavit must indicate that the medical expert reviewed the injured hospital patient’s medical records and that he or she is prepared to testify that the patient’s level of care fell below that of a reasonable hospital health care provider, thereby constituting medical negligence.

In addition to the negligent hospital employee, an injured patient may also have a potential malpractice claim against the hospital itself for negligent hiring, negligent supervision, or negligent retention of the hospital employee.

Assuming the injured patient proves that the hospital employee committed an act of medical malpractice—or that the hospital itself failed to properly monitor or supervise the employee—the injured patient must also show that this negligence proximately resulted in certain injuries and damages. In other words, the patient must prove that the injuries and damages he or she sustained would not have occurred but for the hospital employee’s negligent actions or inactions.

Damages Sustained as a Result of Florida Hospital Malpractice

When hospital health care providers behave in an abusive or negligent manner, serious injuries and damages can result. The most common such injuries include cuts and scarring, slip and fall injuries, permanent damages, fractures, broken bones, soft tissue injuries, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), hemorrhaging, internal bleeding, paralysis, or even death.

In a Florida hospital malpractice case, an injured hospital patient may be able to recover damages for payment of medical bills, as well as monetary compensation for lost wages, pain and suffering, mental anguish, emotional distress, permanent disability, loss of enjoyment or quality of life, or punitive damages (although the latter is only available in cases where a hospital employee’s conduct was egregious or grossly negligent).

If you or someone you love has sustained injuries and damages as a result of a healthcare provider or hospital’s negligence, you may be entitled to monetary recovery under Florida law. Whenever the hospital’s insurance company is involved, its adjusters will do everything in their power to limit the liability exposure of both the hospital and the insurance company. Insurance companies are never on your side, and their primary goal is to keep their money in housenot to pay you money on your personal injury claim. Consequently, insurance companies try and settle hospital malpractice and neglect claims for as cheaply as possible, in order to wash their hands of them quickly.

Contact a New Port Richey, Florida Hospital Malpractice Lawyer Today for a Free Initial Consultation and Case Evaluation

The knowledgeable Florida hospital malpractice lawyers at Dolman Law Group can negotiate with the hospital’s insurance company on your behalf and assist you with maximizing the settlement or verdict value of your case. If the insurance company refuses to place an acceptable settlement offer on the table, our attorneys are not afraid to file suit on your behalf and litigate your case through the Florida court system – up through and including a civil jury trial.

To schedule a free consultation or case evaluation with a New Port Richey area hospital malpractice lawyer, please call us today or contact us online.

Dolman Law Group
5435 Main Street
New Port Richey, FL 34652
(727) 853-6275