What is a hospital malpractice claim?
A staggering 98,000 Americans die from preventable medical errors each year and just as many from hospital-acquired infections. Hospitals are entrusted with the care of a patient while undergoing surgery or during recovery from an illness or injury. Licensed and regulated by federal law, hospitals must adhere to certain policies and procedures in order to ensure the health and well-being of their patients. When people are injured due to negligence or violations, healthcare providers are liable for the injuries they cause.
Medical malpractice cases may arise against hospitals for improper administration of medication, nursing care, sanitation, infection, or equipment failure. All medical care providers, including employees of a hospital, have a responsibility to provide a certain level of care and treatment for their patients that is recognized by the profession. Care below that standard, because of a failure on the part of the physician or nurse, or because of the choice of improper treatment for a condition, is considered negligence. If you believe that your hospital care was negligent, you may have the basis for a hospital malpractice lawsuit.
What makes the hospital malpractice case unique?
Unique to medical malpractice claims, by Colorado law you must have your matter reviewed by a medical care provider prior to the filing of a complaint. This medical expert must have experience in the same area of care as the negligent doctor, and must state that there is a good-faith basis for the claim. Attention to the type of hospital where the negligent care was provided is needed early in the process. If the hospital is a private hospital, whether a community hospital or a for-profit one, the lawsuit is filed against any as with any corporation.
However, many of our Colorado hospitals are municipal or county facilities and these require special procedures to preserve your rights. Suits against government-operated hospitals are governed by the Colorado Government Immunity Act and must satisfy the requirements set out in that statute, including statutory notice given to the hospital within 180 days of the negligent care. These lawsuits are best handled by counsel experienced with a CGIA claim.
What to expect from a hospital malpractice lawsuit
Though personal matters become public in any personal injury lawsuit, it is particularly true for medical malpractice victims – you will be forced to share the most intimate details of your daily life with strangers, many of whom are openly hostile. Choose a lawyer with whom you are comfortable and who is experienced in protecting medical malpractice victims from further harassment. In some cases, it may be difficult to determine if your injuries resulted from nursing malpractice, doctor error, a surgical mistake or negligence by another medical provider. Since we are skilled investigators, our firm can help discover whether your injuries are the result of nursing malpractice or doctor negligence.
As with any medical malpractice case, you should seek compensation for economic losses such as medical expenses (including those paid by your medical insurance provider) and loss wages for both the past and future. These are typically expenses easily supported by documents, such as payroll stubs and medical bills. More challenging are the losses for which there are no hard measure – a permanently impaired body or the diminished ability to enjoy life are losses that also deserve valuation. Both the economic losses and the non-economic injuries are legitimate elements of the damages for which you look to the negligent hospital for compensation. For more detail on damages allowed and time limits applied, visit Medical Malpractice.
For answers about your hospital malpractice claim, call for a free consultation
We understand that each hospital malpractice injury is as unique as each client. We approach each malpractice case from a fresh perspective and learn the detailed facts. Our ability to give the highest level of personal attention to each client is essential to our success. Chalat Hatten & Banker has cultivated knowledge and experience in determining the financial impact of medical malpractice. Consulting with economic impact analysts, medical specialists, and other healthcare professionals, we calculate what your negligent care means in terms of medical bills, lost wages, adverse living conditions, and psychological trauma. We make it a point to answer all the questions of our clients, and we address each concern in a professional and compassionate manner. Contact an experienced hospital malpractice lawyer at our office today to discuss your options.