Frequently Asked Hospital Negligence Questions

Do you have questions concerning hospital negligence or your right to compensation in a personal injury claim? Check out the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we hear at the Law Office of James H. Guest, L.L.C. If you don't see an answer to a question or would like more detailed answers specific to your situation, we encourage you to contact our firm online or by calling our Denver office at 303-292-2992.

What is hospital negligence?

Hospital negligence is generally defined as any action, oversight or inaction that results in further injury or illness for a patient. Hospital staff most often cited for hospital negligence include:

  • Nurses
  • Orderlies
  • Administrative staff
  • Technicians
  • Lab workers

How do I prove a doctor, nurse or medical professional was negligent?

In order for a doctor, nurse or medical professional to be considered negligent, plaintiffs must be able to prove that the defendant's conduct fell below the generally accepted standard of care. This can be done by collecting:

  • Hospital records
  • Policy documents
  • Diagnostic test results
  • A patient's medical records
  • Security footage
  • Witness statements
  • Expert testimony

Generally speaking, hospital negligence claims are less complicated than medical malpractice claims because victims do not need to show there was intent behind the medical mistake, only negligence.

What are some examples of hospital negligence?

Hospital negligence can come in many forms. Some common examples include:

  • Administration of the wrong medication to a patient
  • Administration of the wrong dosage to a patient
  • Misinterpretation of diagnostic results
  • Mishandling of patient information or medical records
  • Inadequate or poorly written pre- and post-operative care procedures
  • Unclear policies regarding patient care and monitoring
  • Inadequate shift change policies that leave patients vulnerable to fall accidents
  • Understaffing that results in
  • Inadequate training for common medical procedures, such as IV placement, that results in serious or fatal injuries

Who can be held liable for my injuries or those of my loved one?

Anyone who works at or for a hospital whose negligent actions result in further injury to a patient can be held liable in a hospital negligence claim. This can include but are not limited to:

  • Nurses
  • Orderlies
  • Administrative staff
  • Technicians
  • Lab workers
  • Doctors
  • Surgeons
  • Anesthetists
  • Anesthesiologists
  • Radiologists
  • Oncologists
  • Hospital diagnosticians

Although you have the option of naming specific medical professionals in your hospital negligence claim, it's common practice to name the hospital as they are most liable to pay your settlement.

How long do I have to file a claim in Colorado?

As is the case in other states, Colorado has a statute of limitations on medical malpractice and hospital negligence claims. A statute of limitations is a specific time period in which personal injury victims and their loved ones are allowed to file a lawsuit to seek compensation for medical costs, lost wages and other expenses associated with the accident.

In Colorado, those seeking compensation for hospital negligence are required to file a claim within two years of discovering an injury or evidence of negligence. Once this window of time expires, a plaintiff loses their right to file a claim and recover damages.

It should be noted that there are exceptions to the rule that can change the amount of time a victim has to file a claim. The sooner you speak with an attorney, the sooner they can address your specific case and explain your options for remedy.

How much will I recover in compensation?

There is no one-size-fits-all amount of compensation that is awarded in hospital negligence claims because each settlement is tailored to the financial needs of the plaintiff and the specific circumstances of his or her case.

Typically, victims and their families seek compensatory damages that are designed to cover present and future medical bills and lost wages as well as other expenses related to hospital negligence. In few cases, punitive damages – which are designed to punish the negligent party and discourage future mistakes – may be sought, though this amount depends on the unique circumstances of the case and current damage caps in Colorado.

Do I need to hire a lawyer to file a hospital negligence claim?

While hospital negligence claims are often considered less complex than medical malpractice claims, they are not without their challenges.

Plaintiffs are still required to present evidence that supports their claims of negligence and their need for compensation. This includes gathering medical records, doctor and staff testimony, diagnostic results, hospital policy documents, and recordings or security footage. In addition to this, plaintiffs then face complex tort laws and statutes of limitations that can easily confuse anyone not adept at interpreting the law.

There is no drawback to at least speak with an attorney who offers free initial consultations like we do here at the Law Office of James H. Guest, L.L.C. Additionally, our firm works on a contingency basis, which means there is no fee if there is no recovery.

Contacting The Law Office Of James H. Guest, L.L.C.

If you suffered unforeseen complications or serious injuries because of hospital negligence or lost a loved one because of a nurse or hospital employee's careless actions, we want to hear about it. Our lawyers will personally handle all aspects of your case — including negotiations for maximum compensation — to ensure you're staying focused on recovery, not the frustration of dealing with legal matters.

Schedule a free initial consultation today at our Denver office by calling 303-292-2992. You may also contact us online if that's easiest for you.