Can I Sue the Hospital for an Independent Contractor Doctor’s Actions?August 14th, 2017
Hospitals and other healthcare facilities are typically responsible for their employees’ actions. This includes nurses and medical technicians, but it does not always include doctors, anesthesiologists, and other healthcare providers.
Thus, if a nurse provides negligent care and you sustain serious injuries or an illness as a result, you would most likely sue the hospital directly for the damages you incurred. The same would apply if you received substandard care from a medical technician or a member of the hospital’s support staff.
When it comes to doctors, though, determining liability–i.e. the party or parties who are responsible for your damages–is more challenging. In general, you would only be able to sue the hospital for a doctor’s negligence if that doctor was classified as an employee of the hospital.
If the doctor is not an employee of the hospital, you would most likely have to pursue a different avenue to recover compensation. You would also be unable to name the hospital in a lawsuit if one of its employees provided substandard care while under the doctor’s supervision. In such a scenario, the doctor and not the hospital would likely be liable for the damages if he or she was present when the incident occurred and if he or she could have prevented the employee’s negligence by taking reasonable measures.
If you were the victim of medical malpractice and you are not sure whether the hospital, the doctor, or another party is liable for your damages, turn to The Bowling Christiansen Law Firm. David A. Bowling is a medical malpractice attorney in New Orleans who will help you pursue the maximum compensation for hospital bills, lost wages, and non-economic damages. Call (504) 586-5200 to schedule a consultation.
Can I Sue the Hospital for an Independent Contractor Doctor’s Actions?
Although some doctors are classified as hospital employees, many are not. The arrangement that your doctor has with the facility will determine whom you name as a defendant in your medical malpractice claim.
Doctors who are not hospital employees are typically considered “independent contractors”, which means the hospital is not liable for their actions, even if the incident occurred at the facility using hospital resources. If your doctor is not a hospital employee, you would most likely sue him or her directly for medical malpractice.
Every case is different, though, and there are a few circumstances in which you may be able to sue the hospital after receiving substandard care from an independent contractor doctor. If the hospital did not make it clear that the doctor was not their employee, you may have a valid claim against the facility.
You may also have a claim against the hospital if the doctor is dangerous or has a history of incompetence yet continues practicing at the facility. For example, if the doctor suffers from substance abuse and hospital management knows this, patients who suffer injuries at the hands of the doctor may be able to sue the hospital.
If you or a loved one sustained debilitating injuries due to a botched surgical procedure, contact The Bowling Christiansen Law Firm. David A. Bowling is a medical malpractice lawyer in New Orleans with more than 30 years of trial experience.