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Hospitals' responsibility for birth injuries

Birth injuries can be devastating and traumatic to Texas parents and children, especially when they were caused by the actions of negligent doctors, nurses and other health care professionals. When children are injured at birth by medical professionals, there is a number of parties that could be held liable for the damages. For example, the hospital where the birth injury took place is, in many cases, responsible for the conduct of its staff that caused damage.

In some cases, a hospital may be responsible for a birth injury due to its own negligence, such as if it hired unqualified health care practitioners or unlicensed professionals. A hospital could be considered negligent if it failed to sufficiently investigate its employees' credentials. In addition, if a hospital failed to hire and schedule an appropriate amount of staff, it could be accountable for injuries caused by nursing shortages. Hospitals may also fail to properly conduct tests, maintain medical records and make appropriate discharge decisions.

In other cases, a hospital could also be held liable if its employees' negligence or malpractice causes harm to a patient. This concept of vicarious liability means that an employer may be responsible for an employee's actions in the scope of his or her employment. This can be particularly important in a medical malpractice case, where a large hospital may be the party best prepared to pay out a significant financial award. However, this doctrine may not apply if the negligent physician was an independent contractor instead of an employee.

Multiple parties may have had a role to play, through their conduct or failure to act, in the occurrence of birth injuries. A medical malpractice attorney can consult with parents to review their case and determine whether they have a claim to make against the doctor, hospital or other health care professionals involved.

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