Washington, D.C. Hospital Negligence Lawyers
When a person seeks medical care at a hospital in Washington, D.C., that person clearly expects to receive the highest level of care possible. After all, one would not go to the hospital if they didn’t think that high-quality treatment was both available and probable. Unfortunately, quality care is not always provided. Patients are often harmed – not helped – as a result of their hospital experience.
At The Law Offices of Michael M. Wilson M.D., J.D. & Associates, our Washington D.C. medical malpractice lawyers are here to guide you through your options if you have suffered harm in a hospital as a result of malpractice. Our attorneys bring both a legal and medical background to our clients. They know how to identify hospital negligence and pursue the compensation which victims are due. Contact us today to learn more in a free consultation.
- 1 What Is Hospital Negligence?
- 2 What Are Common Causes of Hospital Negligence?
- 3 Can You Sue for Medical Malpractice or Negligence?
- 4 What Do You Have to Prove in a Hospital Negligence Claim?
- 5 What Damages Can You Recover in a Hospital Negligence Claim?
- 6 Contact Our Washington, D.C. Hospital Negligence Attorneys Today
What Is Hospital Negligence?
When a hospital or hospital staff member breaches the duty of care that it owes to a patient in their care, hospital negligence has occurred. The primary difference between hospital negligence and medical malpractice is that the first involves the actions of the hospital as an entity/administration, while the latter typically involves the actions of an independent doctor. (However, a hospital could be considered negligent if it allowed a doctor with a history of malpractice or a bad reputation to practice in its facility.) When a patient suffers harm that would not have occurred but for the negligence of a hospital administration or staff, the hospital could be held liable for any damages suffered by the patient.
What Are Common Causes of Hospital Negligence?
A patient can be harmed in many different ways while in a hospital’s care. For example, a patient may contract a healthcare-acquired infection (HAI), receive the wrong medication, develop bedsores, suffer harm due to the use of certain medical equipment and much more. Some of the top causes of hospital negligence include:
- Poorly-trained or improperly-educated staff members
- Inadequate and ineffective hospital policies
- Communication errors
- Defective medical equipment
- Poor staff-to-patient ratio
- Poor record keeping
- Unsanitary facilities.
Can You Sue for Medical Malpractice or Negligence?
Neither negligence nor patient harm alone is enough to bring a hospital negligence claim for damages. If a patient suffers harm while in a hospital’s care, but the hospital did not commit negligence, then the hospital cannot be held liable for damages. Similarly, if a hospital does act negligently, but no patient harm results (or a patient’s harm is unrelated to the negligent act), then the hospital cannot be held liable. Instead, there must be causation. In other words, the patient’s harm would not have occurred but for the negligence of the hospital.
In addition to being able to prove causation, you can only file a medical malpractice claim against a hospital in the event that the statute of limitations has not expired. For this reason, partnering with a qualified medical malpractice lawyer in DC as soon as you suspect negligence is critical.
What Do You Have to Prove in a Hospital Negligence Claim?
To prevail in a negligence lawsuit against a hospital in Washington, D.C., you will need to establish four elements:
- Duty of care – The first thing that a patient seeking damages from a hospital must prove is that the hospital owed the patient a duty of care. With rare exceptions, this duty is almost always implied in hospital settings.
- Breach of duty of care – A patient must also prove that the hospital breached the duty of care owed to the patient in some way, which means that the hospital behaved in a manner that was negligent. Essentially, this means that the hospital acted, or failed to act, in a manner that an individual of ordinary prudence would find reasonable. If the breach involved something healthcare-specific, for example, the administration of a medication, then proving negligence will likely involve proving that the healthcare professional in question behaved in a manner outside of what another healthcare professional of similar background and education would have done.
- Causation – As discussed briefly above, a plaintiff must prove causation, or that the patient’s harm was the direct result of the hospital’s negligence.
- Damages – Finally, a patient must also prove that the negligence caused actual damages, either economic, non-economic or both. If the plaintiff suffered no damages, then a financial recovery is not an option.
What Damages Can You Recover in a Hospital Negligence Claim?
An act of hospital negligence can lead to serious patient harm, from an infection to a medication error and more. As a result of negligence, an affected patient may suffer a diminished quality of life, elevated and ongoing medical expenses, disability, an inability to work and earn an income and numerous other losses. As such, a patient deserves the right to seek compensation for the full extent of their losses, both economic and non-economic, including past, present and future damages associated with their harm.
Our lawyers are passionate about pursuing the maximum amount of compensation for our clients, and we will work hard to seek the settlement that you deserve. We always review settlement offers thoroughly, and we can aggressively negotiate on your behalf to pursue the award that fully and fairly compensates you. If necessary, our attorneys will be prepared to put on the strongest case possible at trial.
Contact Our Washington, D.C. Hospital Negligence Attorneys Today
Working with a highly skilled Washington, D.C. medical malpractice lawyer can make a major difference if you or a loved one has suffered harm due to a hospital error. At The Law Offices of Michael M. Wilson M.D., J.D. & Associates, our lawyers have years of experience both in and out of the courtroom. We not only bring an extensive legal background to the clients we serve but a medical background as well. Through the years, we have secured more than $100 million on behalf of our clients. To schedule your free, no-obligation consultation, contact us today.