Doctor and Hospital Errors
The Maine doctor and hospital error attorneys of Peter Thompson & Associates are distinguished leaders in medical malpractice law. We are dedicated to defending the rights of patients injured by negligence. Our offices are conveniently located in Portland, Bangor, and Falmouth to serve clients throughout Maine.
Doctor and hospital errors are inevitable in even the most organized medical facilities. Large or small, every hospital is bound to have a fluctuating staff of physicians, nurses, technicians, and temporary workers that make mistakes. For example, hospital employees often use a system of “mass charting” to check arbitrary boxes for patients they have not seen. Doctors, too, have little time to keep up with their administrative duties after seeing individual patients. Many forget to write down orders or scribble illegibly in the patient’s chart. Nurses may rush to interpret such notes before moving on to the next patient. While isolated incidents of negligence may not kill a patient, successive mistakes can increase chances for causing them severe harm.
Examples of doctor and hospital negligence include:
- Ordering the wrong tests
- Misplacing patient charts
- Providing substandard care
- Rendering an improper diagnosis or treatment
- Failing to closely monitor patient
- A failure to see assigned patients
- Dropping a patient upon transfer
- A slow or delayed response to patient distress
- Prescribing the wrong medication or dose
- Untimely transferring a patient to another hospital
Doctors and other medical providers are held to a high legal standard. The quality of the care they provide to the patient must meet the level required by community and professional standards. Any act of negligence breaches their duty to the patient, making them liable for damages that result. Doctors can easily fall below the legal standard by failing to “make rounds” or misdiagnosing the patient. They breach their duty when they make mistakes during surgery or fail to anticipate obvious health problems. Obstetricians, for example, can seriously injure the baby with their negligent use of forceps and vacuum extractors. With geriatric patients, doctors can easily miss details like constipation or urinary tract infections that can result in the patient’s death. Any error during diagnosis or treatment may result in malpractice liability.
Hospitals are the institutions employing physicians. They are in charge of managing the often-heavy turnover of health care providers that work in shifts. The employment contract between hospitals and staff establishes a “master-servant” relationship. Hospitals are thus liable for the negligent acts of their agents. In emergency rooms, for example, patients are “stuck” with the staff on duty at the time. Even if the negligent party was a temporary worker or independent contractor who was not on staff, courts have found that the hospital could not deny the agency relationship to avoid liability. With very few exceptions, hospitals are still on the hook for the negligent acts of employees. That is why medical malpractice lawsuits often name individual negligent parties and the hospital as defendants. Successful claimants are entitled to compensation for past and future medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering. These are costs the negligent hospital (and its insurers) must pay.
If you were injured by doctor or hospital negligence, the experienced Maine doctor and hospital error lawyers at Peter Thompson & Associates can help. We utilize investigators, case managers, and leading medical experts to thoroughly evaluate your case. Our office diligently scours through your medical and surgery records to find any negligent conduct that would give rise to liability. Even if the physician or hospital tried to cover up the mistake, we can help you find it. At Peter Thompson & Associates, our medical malpractice attorneys are devoted to helping you obtain the compensation you deserve. Call 800.804.2004 for a free consultation or contact us online.