As a Charlotte personal injury attorney, I speak regularly with individuals who are trying to determine if they can move forward with suing a hospital or doctor, or both. While most of us have heard of medical malpractice and know it gives rise to a lawsuit, there is something that seems ‘untouchable’ about doctors and hospitals. Often, it leads us to convince ourselves we shouldn’t look to them for recovery.
Whether it’s a hospital or a doctor’s office, there is a duty of care owed to individuals who are clients or patients of the business. Typically, whether you are suing a hospital or a doctor depends on whether the doctor is an employee of the hospital, and whether the injury sustained occurred at the hands of a medical practitioner, or was the result of a defect the premises. Falling on a wet floor at the hospital for instance, is going to give rise to a claim against the hospital, rather than any particular individual working for the hospital.
Employers Are Responsible For Their Employees’ Torts
Generally speaking, provided the behavior of the doctor is within the scope of his or her job, if a mistake is made and the doctor is an employee of the hospital, the hospital will be responsible for that mistake. In other words, they can’t just push it off on the doctor.
In many cases, doctors aren’t actually employees of the hospital. In North Carolina, these individuals are known as independent contractors. In a scenario where there was a negligent act by a doctor not an employee of the hospital, your Charlotte personal injury attorney would pursue damages from the individual doctor’s medical malpractice insurance policy, rather than the hospital’s.
Appearance of an Employer
There are times where even an independent contractor’s actions can give rise to a claim against the hospital. One example is where the hospital appeared to be the doctor’s employer. Typically during the admissions process, the hospital will let the patient know clearly that the doctor is or is not an employee of the hospital. Your personal injury attorney will obtain these forms and examine them to determine the responsible party or parties.
Call An Attorney
If you have questions about an injury you or a family member sustained at the hands of a doctor or hospital, please call to speak with an attorney today. You deserve to get your questions answered and we’re here to provide you with the information you need to make a decision. You can reach us at 704.749.7747. We’re here to help. Or, complete this quick contact form and we’ll call you.