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How Hospitals Fight a Malpractice Claim

April 05, 2021

By Van Der Veen, Hartshorn, and Levin

Hospitals are supposed to help patients and treat them so they can overcome an illness or injury. While Pennsylvania is home to some of the best hospitals in the country, staff members are sometimes negligent and when that occurs, patients can hold them and the hospital liable for paying compensation. Medical malpractice claims are some of the most complex though, and hospitals will defend them vigorously. Below are some of the main strategies they will use when defending these claims, so you know what to expect.

Claiming the Healthcare Professional was Not Negligent

Not every unsuccessful result in healthcare is a result of negligence. Doctors often try trial and error when diagnosing or treating a patient, and not every approach will work. In order for a healthcare professional to be found negligent, they must have failed to meet the high standards for the duty of care they are expected to provide. In most cases, another doctor must testify to the fact that the defendant did not meet their duty of care.

Claiming the Healthcare Professional Does Not Work for the Hospital

Certain healthcare professionals, such as technicians and nurses, typically work for the hospital, but many doctors do not. Instead, many doctors are considered independent contractors with hospital rights, meaning they can see patients in the facility. If the doctor does not work for the hospital, the facility cannot be held liable for the doctor’s actions. However, there are ways to prove that the doctor worked for the hospital, such as determining who dictated the doctor’s hours, fees, and even if the patient was led to believe that the doctor was an employee.

Claiming the Hospital Did Not Know the Doctor was Careless

Hospitals may claim that they did not know a doctor or any other healthcare professional was careless or incompetent. That is no excuse, though. Hospitals are required to ensure they are making appropriate hiring decisions and that they are fully vetting the people they hire. When they do not meet that standard and someone is injured, the hospital can be held liable.

Claiming the Patient was at Fault

If you contributed to the accident that led to your injury, even partly, you can still hold the hospital liable but your damages will be reduced. It is essential that you prove the hospital was at fault for the malpractice, and that you know how to defend against claims that you were also partly to blame.

Call Our Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Lawyers Today

Medical malpractice cases are complicated, and the fact that a hospital will always vigorously defend them only makes them more difficult. If you have been hurt while in the care of a doctor or other hospital staff member, call our Philadelphia personal injury lawyers at van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim today. We know how to refute the claims of the hospital, and to ensure you recover the full amount of damages you deserve.


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