Chicago Hospital Lawyer
Attorneys Handling Malpractice Lawsuits Against Doctors and Hospitals
If you or someone you love has been harmed by negligence in a hospital, can you sue that hospital? The answer to that often depends on the practitioner’s relationship with the facility. If the doctor was independent, then there may not be grounds to name the hospital or facility as a co-defendant in the lawsuit. If the doctor was a hospital employee, then the facility could be named as a co-defendant in the lawsuit. These cases are incredibly complex and best handled by attorneys experienced in the field of medical malpractice.
If you were the victim of negligence in a hospital, contact the lawyers at Power, Rogers & Smith, L.L.P. for a free review of your case.
Doctors: Employees vs. Independent Contractors
An article in Physicians Practice delineated the difference between employees and independent contractors, specifically regarding medical professionals, by addressing three categories: behavioral control, financial control, and type of relationship.
- Behavioral Control asks the question, “Does the hospital or facility have the authority to dictate how the physician performs the tasks for which they were hired?”
- Financial Control asks the question, “Does the hospital or facility have the authority to control financial aspects of the physician’s job?”
- Type of Relationship asks the question, “Does the hospital or facility provide the worker with employee-type benefits such as vacation pay and insurance?”
According to the IRS,
People such as doctors, dentists, veterinarians... who are in an independent trade, business, or profession in which they offer their services to the general public are generally independent contractors. You are not an independent contractor if you perform services that can be controlled by an employer (what will be done and how it will be done).
According to a report by Accenture, 37 percent of physicians were independent in 2013—down from 57 percent in 2000, and only one-in-three will remain independent by the end of 2016. Data from the American Hospital Association corroborates the claim that independent doctors are dwindling, citing a figure saying that physicians employed by hospitals grew by 34% in the decade between 2000 and 2010.
Medical Malpractice Liability Coverage for Doctors & Hospitals
Physicians and hospitals generally purchase medical malpractice liability coverage, “malpractice insurance” to protect them in the event of medical malpractice lawsuits. Some malpractice insurance providers offer coordinated coverage, meaning all physicians are covered - employed, contracted, and even independent staff.
Malpractice insurance can come attached with a legal team of claims experts and trial attorneys who deal with medical malpractice claims like this every day. For this reason, if you have reason to believe you could sue a hospital or doctor for negligence, don’t move forward without an experienced attorney on your side.
- Our firm won the largest medical malpractice verdict in history of $55 million
- We have been voted “Best Law Firms” in the field of Medical Malpractice Law
- Founding Attorney Joseph Power has never lost a medical malpractice case at trial
Negligence in Hospitals: Common Questions
Hospital error is an unfortunate reality. While mistakes happen in every profession, the consequences of mistakes in this field are much more dire. After suffering this type of injury, many people ask the following questions.
Can you sue a hospital?
In Illinois, as in most states, doctors have a duty to provide reasonable care to their patients. If a doctor deviates from that acceptable standard of care and that deviation results in damages, the victim may have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. At this point, the question becomes not “if” but “against whom?” A hospital may be on the hook for the conduct of its employees, but naming defendants in a medical malpractice lawsuit can become complicated if the relationship between the physician and the facility is unclear.
Can you sue a hospital for misdiagnosis?
According to the Medscape Malpractice Report 2015, failure to diagnose accounts for 31% of all medical malpractice lawsuits filed. Failure to diagnose is one type of misdiagnosis, the other being diagnosing a patient with the wrong condition. If the failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis of a condition resulted from a deviation in the accepted standard of care, and the patient suffered damages as a result, they may be able to file a lawsuit against a hospital for misdiagnosis.
What is the definition of medical negligence?
A doctor owes his or her patient certain duties, including the duty to decide whether they are capable to treat the patient in question, the duty of care to decide an appropriate treatment, and the duty to administer the treatment properly. A deviation from that standard of care can constitute negligence.
According to Cornell University Law School’s Legal Information Institute, “negligence” is:
A failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances. The behavior usually consists of actions, but can also consist of omissions when there is some duty to act.
Can you sue a doctor for malpractice?
Doctors can be named as the defendants in medical malpractice lawsuits. In some cases, they are named as co-defendants with a hospital or health system.
Next Steps for Potential Plaintiffs
If you or someone you love believes that you could have a lawsuit against a hospital for negligence or malpractice, we invite you to contact the Chicago hospital lawyers at Power, Rogers & Smith, L.L.P. today. Your next steps are to:
- Call us at (312) 313-0202 OR
- Fill out a free, online evaluation form
- We’ll review the details of your situation at no cost to you
- A member of our staff will be in touch to explain your legal rights and options
Should you choose to contact us and should we end up taking your case, we will walk you through the process so you can know what to expect.