Hospital and Nurse Negligence

When an individual is hospitalized, that person trusts the hospital staff’s judgment to treat him or her properly. Like doctors, nurses play a vital role in the day-to-day care of a patient. All medical professionals are expected to provide a certain level of care. When they fail to meet the appropriate standard, they may be liable for any resulting harm. Hospitals can potentially be held responsible for medical malpractice when preventable errors result in their facilities from the careless actions of nurses or other employees, as long as they are acting in the scope of the employment relationship. Hospital and Nurse Negligence can cause lasting and expensive patient issues.

Nurse Negligence

Even though Nurses are not directly responsible for a patient’s care they often have many tasks they perform related to general patient care. Of the most important nursing tasks are administering medications, monitoring vital signs and and general monitoring of patients. Nurses can make mistakes amounting to negligence in any or all of these tasks.

Some examples below:

  • Failing to take a patient’s vital signs and proper times, or all together
  • Failing to enter nursing record into the patient’s chart
  • Administer the wrong type or amount of medication

If a nurse is an employee of the hospital, the nurse’s negligence translates into the hospital’s negligence as well.

Hospital Negligence

Hospital Negligence is most often related to the hiring and supervising of its employees and maintaining/repairing equipment.

Types of Hospital Negligence:

  • Negligent hiring- failing to verify proper licenses
  • Failure to ensure health care providers stay up to date on licenses
  • Failure to fire unsafe, unlicensed or incompetent employees
  • Failure to establish proper patient safety protocols
  • Understaffing

Holding Hospitals and Nurses Accountable for Negligence

Medical malpractice claims are rooted in the theory of negligence, which is a legal principle designed to hold careless parties accountable for the harm they cause. In order to establish the right to compensation through a malpractice claim, a patient must show that the health care provider failed to adhere to the standard of care that would be applicable to other health care providers in the same specialty and geographic area who are in good standing in their profession. Deviating from the accepted standard of care is considered a breach of duty on the part of a medical professional. If this breach is the direct cause of a patient’s harm, that medical professional likely will be held liable for any costs and losses that result.

Determining what level of care was reasonable in a given set of circumstances is not always obvious and usually requires the assistance of an expert witness, such as another doctor or nurse in a similar specialty to the defendant. An expert also can explain what the defendant did that fell short of the appropriate standard and the sequence of medical events that led to the patient’s injuries.

Malpractice claims must be filed within a certain time period, known as the statute of limitations. Under Maryland law, a patient must file a medical negligence lawsuit within five years from the date of his or her injury, or within three years of the date when it was discovered, whichever is earlier.

Medical Malpractice Attorneys Assisting Baltimore Residents

When hospitals, nurses, and other health care providers fail to meet accepted professional standards, patients can be seriously harmed. In some cases, people can lose their lives as a result of this negligence. At Wais, Vogelstein, Forman & Offutt, our experienced medical malpractice lawyers have asserted the rights of many Baltimore residents harmed by careless hospitals and nurses. We have the zeal and resources to vigorously pursue your claim and help you seek monetary damages for your injuries.

Our knowledgeable injury attorneys have represented many individuals in Prince George’s County and elsewhere in Maryland. For more information, contact us online or call us at 888-952-9669 for a free, no-obligation consultation about your case.


American Journal of Nursing

Hospital Liability of Errors by its Staff