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Hospital Malpractice and Liability

What Is Hospital Malpractice?

Hospitals are expected to provide a high level of care to ensure the health and safety of their patients. Errors made by nurses, medical technicians and sometimes doctors may all breach the standard of care that hospitals are expected to provide. Therefore, a hospital may be held liable for a birth injury if an employee of that hospital is responsible for the harm.

Failure to hire competent staff or the failure to properly train and manage staff can lead to devastating injuries, illness, disease and even wrongful death. For example, if a nurse employed by the hospital fails to check vital signs of an unborn baby, the baby could experience fetal distress without anyone being aware of the problem. Or, if a technician fails to notice problems during a prenatal ultrasound, the hospital may be held liable for the mistake and any resulting birth complications.

When Is the Hospital Not Responsible?

Not all medical negligence or misconduct constitutes a hospital malpractice case. Often doctors are independent contractors who work at the hospital but are not employed by the hospital. If an independent doctor makes a mistake leading to birth injury, the hospital cannot be held responsible for his or her actions. Additionally, if a nurse or technician was under the direct supervision of a doctor, the doctor may be held liable for any nursing malpractice but not the hospital, even if the nurse is an employee.

When considering whether a hospital liability is a factor in your child's birth injury, ask yourself these questions:

  • Whose actions caused the birth injury — a nurse or a doctor?
  • Was the person responsible an employee of the hospital?
  • What could be the root cause of the negligence — understaffing, improper training, keeping an incompetent employee on staff?
  • Was the mistake something that should have been avoided?

The Birth Injury Team is a subsidiary of Silvers, Langsam & Weitzman, P.C., skilled in handling all types of birth injury concerns. Our attorneys can answer your questions and help determine whether the hospital may be held liable for your child's birth injury.

To discuss your potential hospital malpractice case with a member of our team, contact our office, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. We serve clients across the United States.


Located in Philadelphia, Silvers, Langsam & Weitzman, P.C., home of MyPhillyLawyer, serves clients in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, and throughout the United States.

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