The United States now has more diagnosed cases of coronavirus than any other country. The death toll in Florida continues to rise. With so many sick people seeking hospitalization related to coronavirus, hospitals are becoming overloaded and many health care professionals do not have the required protective equipment. Many Miami residents might wonder whether or not they can bring a lawsuit for hospital negligence involving coronavirus.
Can You Sue a Hospital for Negligence Related to Coronavirus?
Coronavirus is an incredibly invasive virus. Negligent safety practices in hospitals can result in patients becoming infected with the potentially deadly disease. Older individuals are more likely to die from coronavirus complications. Additionally, people with underlying medical conditions are more susceptible to dying from complications of coronavirus. In certain situations, people whose loved ones suffer long-term injuries or death due to hospital negligence may have a legal right to sue the hospital.
Hospitals Owe Their Patients a Reasonable Duty of Care
Doctors owe their patients a duty of care. Doctors and other health care providers must use the degree of care and skill of the average doctor who practices in the doctor’s specialty. Courts will take into account the amount of medical knowledge available to the physician.
In other words, doctors are negligent when their actions fall below the level of care of other doctors in the same region with the same knowledge. When doctors do not meet this standard of care, they commit medical negligence and may be liable in a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Examples of hospital negligence can include hospitals not accurately diagnosing coronavirus. The symptoms of coronavirus overlap with other conditions, like allergies and the flu. However, when hospital staff sends patients home when they have serious coronavirus symptoms, they may be liable. There have already been several cases of people sent home from emergency room departments who have died in their homes due to coronavirus complications.
Hospitals have short supplies of personal protective equipment. Even though hospitals are facing challenges, should any medical providers act negligently with the protective equipment they have, they could be liable. For example, if a doctor or nurse was showing signs of coronavirus, and failed to wear a protective mask that was available, he or she could be liable for spreading coronavirus to a healthy patient.
Unknowns When it Comes to Hospital Negligence Lawsuits and Coronavirus
Coronavirus is so new that we have not seen any lawsuits related to hospital negligence yet. Nonetheless, Florida’s laws regarding negligence still apply in emergency situations. Even when courts apply a standard of care for emergencies, hospitals must still use the same amount of reasonable care as other medical professionals would do in a similar emergency.
There is still a lot of unknown information regarding what kinds of lawsuits will be filed regarding hospital negligence and coronavirus, but many hospitals will likely face these lawsuits in the months and years to come. If your loved one passed away from coronavirus due to hospital negligence, our lawyers can help. Contact our Miami personal injury law firm as soon as possible.