What Can Impact Compensation for Hospital-Acquired Infections?


When you go to the hospital, you expect your health to improve. If your health worsened due to hospital-acquired infections you contracted, you may be eligible for compensation. If you want more information, read on and then talk to an experienced medical malpractice attorney to get any additional questions answered.

What Is a Hospital-Acquired Infection?

Hospitals are a place where you go when you are seriously injured or very sick. Typically, most people are treated and sent home within hours of arriving at the hospital. However, the patients with the most serious illnesses and injuries are kept for a day or longer.

That means the hospital is usually filled with people who are very sick. This creates a challenge for hospital personnel. They have to enact strict protocols to prevent those serious illnesses from spreading to other patients. Unfortunately, sometimes, those protocols fail. When that happens, germs from one patient infect another.

Having open wounds may make someone more susceptible to infection with microbes like MRSA. However, any patient can develop common types of infections like ventilator-associated pneumonia and catheter-associated urinary tract infections.

When Would a Hospital-Acquired Infection Be Grounds for Legal Action?

Sometimes protocols just fail, regardless of how careful hospital staff are. Unfortunately, all too often, protocols fail because of negligence.

All it can take is one hospital worker to remove a mask or skip washing their hands for an infection to spread. Even worse, if a hospital has suboptimal protocols, the hospital may be negligent rather than an individual employee.

Regardless, when negligence is a contributing factor to a hospital-acquired infection, you have grounds to file a medical malpractice claim against the hospital or a healthcare worker.

Identifying Negligence

Negligence is a key factor in any medical malpractice case. To prove that a medical professional was negligent, your lawyer needs to prove that:

  • The medical professional has a duty to protect the health of your client
  • That duty was violated by intentional action, recklessness, or carelessness
  • The violation of that duty resulted in you getting infected
  • A monetary value can be assigned to the harm you suffered from that infection

If your attorney can prove all of these factors, a jury should find in your favor.

Factors That Could Impact Compensation in a Medical Malpractice Case

How much is your medical malpractice case worth? That is a tricky question to answer, even for the most experienced medical negligence attorneys.

The insurance company will try to undervalue your claim. Your attorney will try to present evidence that it is worth as much as possible. Both parties will take into account some of the following factors.

Hospital Procedures and Protocols

All hospitals and healthcare professionals are supposed to follow an accepted standard of care. When that standard of care isn’t met, patients are likely to be harmed.

Your lawyer will typically consult with medical experts to determine whether hospital procedures were robust enough to protect patients if personnel followed them rigorously. If they weren’t, this may increase the compensation you receive.

However, when procedures are robust enough, and the negligence is due to the actions of an individual, hospital protocols aren’t likely to have much impact on compensation.


Typically, in medical malpractice cases, the plaintiff isn’t at fault. But in some rare cases, you might be partially responsible for the harm you suffered. In these cases, Ohio comparative negligence rules decrease the compensation you receive relative to the amount you are at fault.

Consequences of the Infection

One of the biggest factors for determining how much compensation you will get for a hospital-acquired infection is the consequences of the infection.

Imagine, for example, that you were expected to need a few days in the hospital followed by about a month of recovery. However, because of the infection, you spent two weeks in the hospital, required surgery, and spent over a year recovering.

The difference between the first timeline and the second timeline is a major factor in how much money you will receive. You should get economic damages for the difference in the cost of that medical treatment and for any other expenses you suffered (most likely lost wages).

Furthermore, an infection can potentially turn a serious injury into a catastrophic injury. For example, an infection could require amputation to prevent it from being fatal. If an infection causes your injury to become catastrophic, the limits on non-economic damages are removed, meaning you can potentially get millions more.


How Much Will a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Cost?

Medical malpractice attorneys take their cases on contingency. This means that you pay nothing unless they get you compensation. And if they get you money, the fee your lawyer charges is only a percentage of the money they get for you.

What Are Common Hospital-Acquired Infections?

Some of the more common infections are:

  • Sepsis
  • MRSA
  • Catheter-associated UTIs
  • Surgical site infections (SSI)

Any infection is dangerous, though, and potentially lethal, especially for those with pre-existing conditions that affect immune system function.

Can I Sue If a Loved One Dies of a Hospital-Acquired Infection?

Yes, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit when the negligence of another party causes the death of your loved one. However, you may need to act quickly. If you suspect medical malpractice caused your loved one to die, talk to a lawyer immediately so they can begin investigating what caused the death.

Contact a Medical Malpractice Lawyer at The Moore Law Firm Today

When you go to the hospital, members of the treatment staff have a responsibility to care for your medical needs. If your health declined because of a hospital-acquired infection that resulted from negligence, contact The Moore Law Firm immediately to schedule a free consultation with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer.

Get in Touch

If you have been injured or have lost a loved one as a result of another person's negligence, you deserve to be fully compensated for your losses. The simple fact is that you should not be forced to pay the price for another person's careless or reckless actions.