When we enter a hospital for surgery or treatment, we never expect that a hospital stay will make us sicker. Unfortunately, hospital negligence results in the injuries and deaths of thousands of patients every year. Hospitals are larger than ever, and many hospitals fail to provide patients with adequate staffing. Hospital negligence includes inadequate staffing and administration decisions that result in patient injuries or death.
When hospital negligence causes injuries or death, the victim may have a right to compensation through a New Mexico medical malpractice claim. At Hunt Law, we believe that injured victims should hold hospitals accountable for the injuries they cause to victims. If you or your loved one have suffered an injury due to hospital negligence, we can help. Contact our Northern New Mexico law firm today to schedule your initial consultation.
What Is Hospital Negligence?
Hospital negligence is one type of medical malpractice. Hospital negligence happens when the hospital administration or hospital employees cause injuries to patients. While medical malpractice lawsuits include injuries caused by individual doctors, nurses, and staff, hospital negligence focuses on negligence on the part of the hospital administration. Injuries from hospital negligence are often serious, and they can even be deadly.
Hiring, Training, and Staffing Problems
As smaller, local hospitals close, and larger hospitals remain, hospital staffing continues to be a serious problem. Even though nurses, orderlies, and aides work hard to care for their patients, they simply don’t have enough time to provide adequate care for every patient. The more hospitals cut costs to drive up profits, the more negligence will happen. Additionally, many hospitals have a difficult time finding qualified staff. Examples of hospital negligence involve the following:
- Failure to provide staff with proper training regarding oxygen regulation for patients
- Inadequate and poor training of hospital staff
- Failure to alert a doctor promptly when a patient’s condition worsens
- Failure to monitor the recovery of patients post-surgery
- Mistakes made in hospital-administered pharmacies
- Failure to keep an accurate patient log of the patient’s treatment
- Failure to diagnose, test for and treat retinopathy of prematurity (ROP)
- Medication errors
- Paperwork errors
- Failure to take appropriate and prompt disciplinary actions when a doctor commits abuse
- Failure to maintain safe and clean operating rooms and rooms for patient recovery
Injuries Caused by Hospital Negligence
Hospital negligence can happen in any department and results in a variety of serious injuries. Birth injuries are common. During the birth process, especially when it comes to high-risk births, patients need constant monitoring by nurses and hospital staff. When hospitals fail to provide proper scheduling and attention, mothers and their babies can suffer serious injuries. Specifically, babies can suffer from brain injuries that result in life-long complications.
Severe infections are also commonly caused by hospital negligence. When hospitals fail to keep their rooms and medical tools properly sanitized, patients can contract dangerous and even deadly infections. MRSA is an antibiotic-resistant infection that patients can contract in a hospital setting. Hospitals owe their patients a duty to provide adequate sanitation to prevent dangerous infections.
Staffing shortages hurt patients, particularly patients who are not able to get in and out of their beds safely and can suffer serious or deadly injuries from slip and fall accidents. Negligence related to administration isn’t limited to hospitals. Gynecologists, obstetricians, physical therapists, and nursing homes also have a duty to staff and run their facilities in a reasonable manner that doesn’t cause injuries.
Compensation Available for Hospital Negligence
If you’ve suffered an injury due to hospital negligence, you likely have significant medical expenses. Filing a medical malpractice claim can help you recover financial compensation for all of the losses you’ve suffered due to your injuries. Specifically, you can recover all of your medical expenses, including all of your prescription costs, hospital stays, in-home care, physical therapy, and any in-home care that you need.
You can also recover other medical expenses, such as the cost of durable medical equipment, and the cost of traveling too and from your appointments. Sadly, many seriously injured victims of New Mexico hospital negligence are no longer able to work, or they must miss a significant amount of time working. Successful personal injury plaintiffs can recover compensation for their past and future lost wages.
Lengthy hospital stays and painful recoveries take a physical toll on personal injury victims. They also take a heavy mental toll. When you suffer an injury caused by hospital negligence, you are often unable to engage in your normal life activities. You may lose function in part of your body, or need to go through even more painful medical treatment. In addition to these economic damages, you can also seek non-economic damages, including compensation for your pain and suffering.
Wrongful Death Lawsuits
Sadly, failures in hospital administration can lead to wrongful death lawsuits. When a person dies due to hospital negligence, his or her estate has a right to bring a lawsuit against the hospital, called a wrongful death lawsuit. A wrongful death lawsuit allows a person’s estate to recover damages for the benefit of the deceased’s beneficiaries.
Hospitals are liable for their negligent hiring, negligent supervision of employees, and failure to properly maintain and repair their equipment. When these failures result in a patient’s death, the patient’s estate can sue for the cost of funeral expenses, medical treatment before their loved one died, lost future wages, lost benefits, and including insurance coverage.
Learn What You Can Do After Suffering a Hospital Negligence Injury
Every year, the systematic failures of hospitals or medical facilities cause deaths and serious injuries of patients across New Mexico. If you or your loved one has suffered additional injuries after a stay in a negligent hospital, we are here to help. We will evaluate your claim and help you determine your best legal strategy going forward. We are committed to protecting the rights of victims of hospital negligence. Contact our Northern New Mexico law firm as soon as possible to schedule your initial consultation.