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Does the Doctor or Hospital Hold Liability?

When pursuing a medical malpractice case, there are some crucial first steps to consider; among them is who is liable for your injuries. If you were injured by a doctor’s negligence in a hospital, you might expect that both the doctor and the hospital are liable, but that’s not always the case.

To understand why we need to examine the different kinds of liability held by doctors and hospitals in Florida.

Vicarious Liability

In Florida, healthcare facilities are responsible for their employee’s negligent care. This is a legal concept called vicarious liability under the Doctrine of Respondeat Superior.

The problem is that hospitals often hire doctors as “independent contractors” rather than employees. If the doctor is truly independent, then the hospital is not liable for his or her negligence

The label of independent contractor is not determinative of whether the doctor is really an employee. Often the hospital imposes control over the doctor’s practice while at the hospital.

A skillful medical malpractice attorney may be able to demonstrate that the doctor is actually an employee/agent of the hospital making it liable for the doctor’s malpractice occurring at the hospital.

Negligent Care by Non-Physician Providers

While many physicians and specialists are hired as independent contractors, nurses and other hospital staff are typically hired as employees. That means if a nurse or orderly makes an error in medication, monitoring, or otherwise causes injury due to negligent care, the hospital is liable for the resulting malpractice claim.

That said, the exact nature of these incidents can be extremely complex, which is why it’s wise to choose an experienced medical malpractice attorney for your case.

If you or someone you love experienced medical malpractice, we are here for you. If you’d like an experienced Florida personal injury attorney from Gunn Law Group P.A. to evaluate your case, call (813) 993-1448 or send us an email.

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