Hospitals in Albany provide a wide range of healthcare services for patients and employ thousands of doctors, nurses, residents, pharmacists, and technicians to provide care and treatment to individuals throughout the region.
Hospitals have a duty to provide appropriate and proper care for patients. However, every year thousands of people suffer injuries because hospitals and their staff fail are negligent. According to The Journal of Patient Safety, between 210,000 and 440,000 patients die as a result of hospital negligence each year.
If you or a loved one suffered an injury due to a hospital’s negligence, contact an Albany hospital negligence lawyer today to get help holding hospitals liable for poor practices and substandard care. Call a compassionate medical malpractice attorney today to schedule a consultation.
Common Examples of Hospital Negligence
Hospital negligence cases are often about patients that get lost in the system. These errors are avoidable, and many should be preventable when hospital staff follows proper protocol and adheres to the normal standard of care. Unfortunately, severe medical injuries and illnesses in Albany still occur due to hospital negligence on a regular basis.
Unsanitary conditions often lead to serious health consequences in a hospital; for example, dirty medical equipment can lead to diseases transmitted from one patient to another. These conditions could also increase the chances of dangerous infections among patients.
There are certain pieces of equipment that every hospital should have. When a facility fails to maintain adequate equipment in the amount needed to serve its patients, it could lead to dangerous outcomes.
Inadequate staffing levels also has the potential to result in serious medical errors. When hospitals are understaffed, patients often miss out on the care they need. This can also lead to errors due to overwhelmed doctors or nurses attempting to care for more patients than they can handle.
Hospital Staff and Liability for Hospital Negligence
Hospitals are generally buzzing with employees who all perform certain functions and share a part in treating and caring for a patient. When examining if a hospital has rendered substandard and negligent care, it is important to understand the role of hospital employees.
Nurses provide critical patient care and are often the most familiar with a patient and their treatment. They are usually charged with monitoring patients, administering medications, identifying complications, and providing certain levels of care.
Many hospitals have a team of pharmacists who are responsible not only for filling prescriptions but also for examining a patient’s health records to identify potential interactions with medications.
There are a variety of technicians who work in a hospital setting and are responsible for tasks like conducting x-rays, MRI’s, CT scans, ultrasounds, and other diagnostic tests. If a technician is not properly trained to perform these tests, it can result in a doctor or radiologist missing a critical diagnosis.
It may surprise many people to learn that doctors are generally not employees of a hospital. In fact, a large majority of doctors in a hospital work for a third-party company that contracts doctors out to various hospitals. Importantly, this means that in many cases an Albany hospital may not be liable for a doctor’s negligence.
When Does an Injury or Illness Qualify as Hospital Negligence?
There are times when an injury occurs or an illness worsens through no fault of the medical staff. Not every poor outcome or adverse reaction will result in viable grounds for a personal injury claim. In order for a patient to secure a monetary award for their medical injury, they must establish that the hospital or its staff acted negligently.
Demonstrating negligence in these cases usually focuses on the approach that these medical professionals took to the treatment. The courts will seek to determine whether the defendants followed the standard of care that would be used by other medical professionals in similar circumstances.
Sometimes there are no simple solutions to a medical crisis. Doctors are required to make split decisions and some of those decisions result in poor outcomes. As long as the doctor operated with due care and followed the same standards other professionals in that position would have, they are likely not on the hook for any damages that occur.
What Are the Financial and Emotional Impacts of Hospital Negligence?
Suffering an injury in a hospital setting often means enduring longer hospital stays, having further surgical procedures, and suffering from infections and complications. In addition to physical and financial consequences, hospital negligence cases often cause emotional injuries as well, such as fear of hospitals, loss of enjoyment of life, and embarrassment over physical scars or disability.
Anyone who has been injured because of hospital negligence may work with an Albany hospital negligence attorney to recover damages including compensatory damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, lost earnings, and any other monetary damage associated with hospital negligence and non-economic damages. Non-economic damages cover the emotional consequences of hospital negligence such as pain and suffering. Currently, New York does not have any laws that limit the amount of compensation a person can receive in a hospital negligence case.
What Are the Statute of Limitations in Hospital Negligence Cases?
Statutes of limitations establish time limits for bringing certain claims to court. New York Civil Practice Law and Rules section 214-a, provides that an action for medical, dental, or podiatric malpractice must be commenced within two years and six months of the act. A lawsuit filed outside of the statute of limitations may be immediately dismissed, leaving injured patients without a way to recover any damages whatsoever.
What Factors Can Complicate Hospital Negligence Cases?
One of the primary complications with these cases is the potentially large number of defendants. While malpractice claims often target a single doctor or facility, hospital negligence cases could involve an array of corporate entities, surgeons, nurses, and administrative staff.
On top of the number of interested parties, there are also insurance companies to deal with. Hospitals typically have extensive insurance coverage that protects them from third-party claims related to hospital negligence. For that reason, it is common to deal with the insurance companies and their legal counsel when trying to resolve these claims.
Often, it is possible to negotiate a monetary settlement with the insurance company or their attorneys. While settlements are common, securing fair compensation could be a time-consuming affair. One of the benefits of working with an Albany hospital negligence attorney is that a patient could allow their legal counsel to handle these negotiations from start to finish.
How an Albany Hospital Negligence Attorney Can Help
Hospital negligence may comprise of surgical errors, medication errors, birth injuries, anesthesia errors, and a wide range of other services. Anyone who believes hospital negligence of any kind caused them injury should contact an Albany hospital negligence attorney as soon as possible to ensure compliance with the New York State statute of limitations.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to some form of hospital negligence, turn to the guidance and experience of an Albany hospital negligence lawyer. With an in-depth understanding of the healthcare field and the nuances of hospital negligence litigation, a seasoned attorney is available to help you secure the compensation and justice you deserve.