Suing a hospital for negligence?

Sue a hospital for negligenceYes. A hospital can be sued for negligence or medical malpractice if the injury occurred during the patient’s treatment at the hospital and if the injury was caused by a hospital employee’s negligence or medical malpractice during their employment. It is often the case when an employee of the hospital engages in medical malpractice while carrying out a task that the hospital is aware of and has given due permission.

This context is under the theory of “vicarious liability,” also known as respondeat superior.” This states an employer bears the consequences of an employee’s actions and can be sued, provided the employee (doctor/nurse) committed the crime while doing something related to his job.

Hospital Malpractices


Hospital malpractices and medical negligence are misconducts which the hospital is liable to be sued for.

A hospital malpractice is misconduct because it is not in line with the provisions of the medical association’s laws set to govern doctors, nurses, and other hospital staff. These provisions also create standards for different medical situations such as emergency room situations and surgical procedures.

Some examples of hospital malpractices are:


  • Mistakes or errors during and after a surgical procedure
  • Giving a wrong diagnosis or mixing up different people’s diagnosis
  • Mistakes with medications
  • Failure to give the right treatment for a condition or ailment

These are some of the factors that may require a personal injury attorney, medical malpractice attorney, or law firm to bring a case of medical negligence to the hospital in question.


How long do you have to sue a hospital for negligence?


The statute of limitations states that one can sue a hospital for negligence between two to six years after the offense was committed. However, it depends on the state and its provision under the law. Generally, after six years, the hospital may be free from any medical malpractice lawsuit brought against it.


Are hospitals liable for employee’s actions?


Yes, hospitals are liable for their employee’s actions. This is in tandem with the theory of “vicarious liability,” also known as “respondeat superior.”

Under this theory, an employer is vicariously liable for the negligent acts of his employee. As long as such negligence occurred during employment, the employee acted within the job’s scope.

Applying this theory to this situation, a hospital is vicariously liable to its employee’s act of negligence as long as the employee was acting within the scope of employment.

Once a plaintiff (the aggrieved party) can prove the hospital’s vicarious liability to the particular employee who committed the negligent act, the plaintiff may sue the hospital for damages successfully.


For instance, where a doctor in a hospital administers the wrong medication to a patient by mistake, he is guilty of being negligent due to carelessness and negligence. If the patient takes the wrong medication and reacts badly to those drugs, the patient has the right to sue the hospital for negligence.

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