When Can Ohio Patients Sue a Hospital for Negligence?

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On a daily basis, Ohio hospital patients place their care in the hands of doctors, nurses, residents, and other hospital health care providers.

However, hospital health care providers sometimes make careless mistakes that result in serious injuries to patients.

If you or a loved one has been inured as a result of a hospital or health care provider’s negligence, you may be entitled to legal compensation for your injuries and damages.

Types of Hospital Negligence

Hospital negligence in the state of Ohio falls under the Ohio Medical Malpractice Statute. Hospital negligence can take many forms, and any hospital employee may be the source of medical malpractice or hospital negligence.

Hospital employees who may be deemed responsible for medical malpractice or negligence include the following individuals:

  • Surgeons
  • Doctors
  • Nurses
  • Nurse practitioners
  • Residents
  • Pharmacists
  • Hospital administrators

Some of the most common examples of hospital negligence include the following:

  • Medication errors — these types of errors include prescribing the incorrect medication to a patient, over-medicating or under-medicating a patient, failing to take into account medication side effects, and/or failing to account for the possibility of adverse drug reactions, considering a patient’s medical history.
  • Failing to supervise — failing to properly supervise a patient who is unhealthy or injured, causing the patient to slip and fall or sustain other serious injuries.
  • Failing to call a doctor — failing to report a patient emergency or call a doctor when a potential complication arises, leading to further injuries and damages.
  • Failing to provide the proper treatment — failing to provide the proper medication or treatment to a patient or to properly address his or her conditions and injuries, or failing to provide any treatment at all.
  • Nursing negligence — failing to report a serious patient complaint or finding to the doctor on duty, failing to adequately and appropriately respond to the patient’s needs (including signs or symptoms of injury), or failing to properly administer medications.
  • Resident negligence — including the hospital or supervising doctor’s failure to properly supervise residents in training.

Legal Bases for Recovery

Suing a health care provider or treatment facility, such as a hospital, for negligence, normally falls under the umbrella of medical malpractice or medical negligence.

Pursuant to the Ohio Medical Malpractice Statute, a healthcare provider working for a hospital, such as a doctor, is held to the standard of care of a reasonably prudent health care provider acting under the same or similar circumstances. For example, in determining whether an orthopedic surgeon negligently performed a knee surgery, he or she would be held to the standard of care of a reasonable orthopedic surgeon performing a knee surgery under the same or similar circumstances.

Assuming that the health care provider is also an employee of the hospital, an injured plaintiff, in addition to suing the healthcare provider directly, could also sue the hospital under an agency theory of liability. Agency theory deals with problems that arise between principals and agents.

In order for the injured plaintiff to recover under an agency theory of liability, he or she would need to show that the provider was an employee of the hospital, that the provider worked under the hospital’s control and supervision, and that the provider was acting with the hospital’s express or implied consent. Supervising hospital administrators could also be liable under this theory of recovery.

An injured plaintiff might also have a cause of action against the hospital for negligent hiring, negligent supervision, and/or negligent retention of the healthcare provider charged with committing the malpractice.

Costs of a Negligence Injury

Medical malpractice and medical negligence can take many forms, and both hospitals and health care providers may be deemed liable. When hospitals and health care providers make mistakes, serious and oftentimes catastrophic personal injuries may result — even a wrongful death, which occurs 90,000 times per year because of medical malpractice. Additionally, 90% of all medical malpractice lawsuits include a claim for wrongful death or serious permanent disability.

An injured plaintiff may have a cause of action directly against the health care provider — usually a surgeon, physician, nurse, nurse practitioner, resident, or pharmacist — and against the hospital or treatment facility for vicarious liability, negligent hiring, negligent retention, and/or negligent supervision. But keep in mind when to file a claim. In Ohio, for example, the statute of limitations is one year within the event that gave rise to the claim. Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2305.113(A).

Make sure that whenever you have a medical procedure to keep careful records of your treatment. If you’re injured, record any time you’re forced to take off work and any other expenses you incur as a result of your injury. Medical malpractice lawsuits can take time, with out-of-court settlements generally the most attractive option for all parties involved.

If you have sustained injuries as a result of a healthcare provider or hospital facility’s negligence, you may be entitled to monetary compensation and legal damages. Our verdicts and settlements include $775,000 for a fatality during birth caused by medical negligence. You can contact our experienced Ohio medical malpractice attorneys anytime to discuss your case at no obligation via telephone or online.

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