In West Virginia, as in other states, medical malpractice is a serious threat to the well-being and safety of patients. The patients in a hospital or other care setting put their trust in their doctors to make the right decisions, and when those doctors make mistakes, the consequences might lead to legal action.
When patients sue hospitals
The administrative structure of hospitals and how they employ doctors can be very complex. In many cases, it is unclear if a given doctor is an employee of the hospital, a consultant or contractor working with the hospital or some other arrangement. This can have implications for whether the patient should sue the hospital, the doctor or both. Of course, both doctors and hospitals are required to have malpractice insurance, so in practice, it is the insurance company that is on the other side of any lawsuit.
That does not mean the doctor and hospital get away with no consequences. A lawsuit can, at least, raise the rates on their malpractice insurance, and it can lead to more serious consequences such as an investigation by the medical board. The lawsuit itself is also a good way for victims of medical malpractice to get compensation for what they experienced, even if it is not coming directly from the hospital’s bank account. The money can help repair the problem and provide some closure to what may be a long-lasting episode that the victim would prefer to move on from.
The process of suing a hospital is called for when it is the hospital’s training error or some other mistake that led to the incident. A patient is responsible for proving that this negligence harmed them.