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What is hospital negligence?

Hospitals in New Mexico can be held liable for a patient's injuries or death if negligence at the facility is found to have been the cause of the damage. Because almost everyone has to go to the hospital at one point or another in their lives, it may be important to understand what hospital negligence is ahead of time.

One of the many ways that a hospital could be found guilty of negligence is in the hiring of its medical staff. If a hospital failed to adequately assess the training and background of a nurse, physician or physician's assistant before making the decision to hire them, the hospital could be responsible for mistakes that person made and injuries that they caused. Unless a physician is considered an independent contractor, hospitals may be found vicariously liable for the medical negligence of one of their employees.

Hospital negligence can also occur when there is an inadequate supply of registered nurses available to take care of the needs of patients. Other forms of hospital negligence can be a hospital's failure to keep accurate records, failure to admit a patient who needs treatment and failure to follow the directions of a patient's private physician.

One scenario that could be found to be the result of hospital negligence is when a patient experiences a worsened condition after being discharged from the hospital too early. When this happens, the hospital could be liable for the patient's need for subsequent emergency treatment. Injured patients who have suffered as a result of any sort of hospital negligence may be entitled to seek reimbursement through a medical malpractice lawsuit. Because every hospital experience is different, the information presented in this blog is not intended to be confused with legal advice.

Source: Findlaw, "Medical Malpractice: Who Can Be Sued?", August 21, 2014

Source: Findlaw, "Medical Malpractice: Who Can Be Sued?", August 21, 2014

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