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When can a hospital be sued for a doctor's negligence?

Michigan residents often rely on the help of doctors, nurses and other medical professionals when they are sick or injured. These professionals have studied long and hard to be able to identify and treat a variety of common, and uncommon, illnesses and injuries. Most people are not equipped to deal with these situations on their own, and therefore they put their faith in these trusted professionals.

However, doctors and nurses usually don't work alone. They work in conjunction with large hospitals. These hospitals also have a responsibility to keep people safe from harm. Along with doctors and nurses, hospitals must take specific precautions to ensure that patients receive the best care possible.

When the unthinkable happens and a person is injured by the negligence of a doctor or nurse, the injured person may wonder what the hospital's role is in the situation. Can a hospital be held liable for the negligence of one of its doctors?

Under civil laws, hospitals can often be held liable for the negligence of the staff. Under various legal theories, hospitals are responsible for the actions of its employees. If an employee -- like a doctor or nurse -- is negligent while acting within the scope of that person's employment, then the hospital can be held financially liable for the actions of that employee.

Additionally, the hospital has a legal responsibility to ensure that people are safe. If the hospital is negligent -- in hiring a doctor or in not implementing certain safety procedures, for example -- then the hospital can also be held financially liable for its own negligence.

Medical malpractice and hospital negligence cases require specific evidence of fault, not only from the doctors but also from the hospital. When people have been injured by negligent hospital, legal action may be warranted.

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