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Was I a Victim of Medical Malpractice? New Orleans Injury Lawyer Explains

November 30th, 2015
On behalf of David Bowling of The Bowling Christiansen Law Firm, A Professional Law Corporation posted in Medical Malpractice on Monday, November 30, 2015.

If a health-care worker’s negligence causes an injury, worsens an existing condition or contributes to the death of your loved one, then you may have grounds for a claim. Winning these cases, however, is a legally complex procedure, but a medical malpractice lawyer can represent your inter

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Hospitals are liable for the actions of their employees, but unlike nurses, medical technicians and paramedics, doctors are typically independent contractors. In fact, according to the National Library of Medicine, hospitals rarely employ doctors.

If you were a victim of a health-care worker’s negligence in Louisiana, then a New Orleans medical malpractice lawyer can determine if you may be entitled to compensation. Call the The Bowling Christiansen Law Firm at (504) 586-5200 to schedule a consultation.

In the meantime, read on to learn three facts that will help you determine who is liable for your injury:

1. The hospital is only responsible for its direct employees.

A health-care provider must be a listed employee on the hospital’s payroll for the facility to be responsible for his or her negligence. Hospitals typically employ paramedics, nurses and technicians.

You cannot bring a claim against a hospital for a doctor’s mistakes unless the hospital employs him or her. You also cannot hold the hospital responsible for any mistakes an employee makes under the doctor’s supervision. If the doctor was there at the time of the incident and had enough control to prevent it from happening, then he or she is responsible for that employee’s mistake.

2. The hospital does not employ independent contractors.

As independent contractors, doctors only use the hospital and its equipment. Hospitals seldom employ them. Hospitals usually are not liable for independent contractors and their actions.

The law only considers a doctor an employee if the hospital controls his or her vacation times and working hours. Additionally, the hospital will stipulate how much the doctor may charge patients if it employs him or her.

3. There are times when a hospital is liable for an independent contractor’s mistake.

No hospital wants to take responsibility for the malpractice of an independent contractor, but sometimes, the facility is liable for the mistakes that a doctor makes. Two situations make the hospital responsible for the incompetence of a doctor:

a. The hospital does not inform you that the doctor is an independent contractor.

The hospital has a duty to inform patients about the employment status of the doctor. Patients must know that the doctor is an independent contractor and that the hospital is not liable for his or her mistakes. Hospitals inform patients of this in writing, usually on the patient admission form.

However, it is a different scenario when mistakes happen in the emergency room. Emergencies leave little time to inform patients of the legalities of liability because patients are often unconscious, gravely ill or severely injured. In these cases, the hospital is liable for the doctor’s mistakes.

b. The hospital allows an incompetent doctor to practice on its premises and use its facilities.

If a doctor is a known incompetent, then the hospital should not allow him or her to practice on its premises. For example, if there is a list of malpractice claims against a doctor, then the hospital may be liable for any new claims against him or her.

The hospital also takes responsibility for a doctor if the facility should have been aware of possible malpractice or danger. For example, a doctor that abuses drugs is unfit to provide medical care. If the hospital is aware of the drug problem or should have known, then it is liable for that doctor’s actions.

If you were the victim of medical malpractice, or if it causes the death of a loved one, then a wrongful death attorney can help you find closure. Call the The Bowling Christiansen Law Firm at (504) 586-5200 to find out if you can bring a claim for medical expenses, lost wages and other damages.

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