How Hospitals can be Negligent

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There exists an expectation that, by visiting a hospital, you will leave better off than when you came in. In fact, most patients realize that they may leave feeling just as they did when they first arrived at the hospital. Patients do not expect to leave the hospital feeling worse than they arrived.

Hospital negligence is, sadly, quite pervasive across the United States. Studies by prominent institutions such as John Hopkins estimate that medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States. Medical malpractice is believed to cause an estimated quarter of a million preventable deaths each year.

Patients rely on a certain standard of care whenever they visit hospitals. Still, patients are injured at hospitals. These injuries are most likely the result of negligence. Negligence occurs whenever the hospital deviates from the basic standard of care it is expected to provide patients. Hospitals can be negligent for in various different ways.

Some examples of hospital negligence include:

Under-trained staff. Medical professionals do not always enter their field with the knowledge and experience required to perform at the highest level. Rather, many staff members require training in order to familiarize themselves not only with medical practices but also the hospital’s procedures. Failing to adequately train, and keep medical staff trained, can result in avoidable injuries to patients.

Insufficient staffing. A hospital may be negligent if it does not maintain the adequate number of staff to attend to its patients. While staff may be stretched thin or overburdened on a random occasion, a hospital show always continue to maintain a staff sufficiently sized to manage its typical number of clients.

Poor facility conditions. Hospitals exist to help provide patients with necessary medical care. Patients are at risk of complications or additional injuries if the conditions are either unsafe or unsanitary. A hospital that fails to account for the condition of its building and its required utilities is acting negligently with regard to its patients.

Inadequate or antiquated equipment. Hospitals should attempt to evolve at the rate at which medicine does. This is not always possible because of funding. Still, hospitals should maintain the equipment necessary to afford patients a basic standard of care. As such, hospitals should avoid using antiquated equipment.

Doctor’s Negligence. Doctors are not typically hospital employees. Still, a hospital may be liable for a doctor’s negligence if the hospital’s relationship with the doctor more closely resembles one of an employer-employee. A hospital may also be negligence for a doctor’s actions if it failed to adequately screen and vet the doctor before allowing him or her to practice at the hospital.

Injured Patients May Receive Compensation

Patients injured as a result of hospital negligence may be entitled to recover damages. The kinds and amounts of damages will depend on the injuries suffered. Some examples of damages that victims of hospital negligence may recover include:

  • Medical Expenses
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Lost Wages
  • Lost of Enjoyment
  • Punitive Damages


If you believe that either you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a hospital’s negligence, seek help right away. At Rice, Murtha & Psoras we have the experience to advocate on your behalf. It is our objective to help you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Contact our office today in order to schedule your initial consultation. Call (410) 694-7291.


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