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Do I Sue My Doctor or the Hospital for Medical Malpractice?

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Injury Attorneys | Restoring LivesTM

Updated June 27, 2020 | Medical Malpractice |


Hospital stays aren’t necessarily going to be comfortable or easy. They should, however, leave you feeling a bit better than when you went in for treatment. Sometimes, though, you end up injured as a result of a medical practitioner’s negligence.

When you experience medical malpractice, who should you bring a lawsuit against—the hospital where you were treated or the doctor who treated you? Determining who is at fault in medical malpractice cases is complicated. An experienced medical malpractice attorney can help you decide how to move forward with a lawsuit.

When Do I Sue the Doctor?

Most doctors are not technically employees of the hospital where they work. It’s more common for a doctor to be an independent contractor. Because independent contractors aren’t the same thing as employees, any legal action needs to be brought against them directly rather than against their place of work.

In cases where the doctor is supervising a hospital employee that committed medical malpractice, a victim could sue the doctor instead of the hospital—depending on how much control the physician had over the situation.

When Do I Sue the Hospital?

Victims can sue a hospital if the negligent party was an employee of the hospital. The actions of nurses, medical technicians, ambulance drivers, and other support staff can be grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit against the hospital. Keep in mind that the employees must be doing something related to their job at the time of the alleged negligence.

While a person usually can’t sue a hospital for a doctor’s treatment, there are exceptions. If the doctor is a hospital employee—meaning that the hospital controls their hours, vacation time, or costs for treatment—a victim could sue the hospital. A hospital will also be liable for the actions of an incompetent doctor that they knowingly keep on staff and allow to harm patients.

Contact a Medical Malpractice Attorney Today

If you are considering suing a doctor or hospital after experiencing medical malpractice, contact the Indianapolis Medical Malpractice Attorneys of Wilson Kehoe Winingham. The lawyers at WKW can help you build a case and fight for the compensation you deserve. Call 317.920.6400 or fill out an online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

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