Labor laws can be quite complex, however most of your questions can be answered here:
and thanks for voting for Webb.
I am not a lawyer, but this is something I know an awful lot about.
You don't ever contact the hospital first, you always contact a lawyer first. Don't call a lawyer off the TV. Don't call a lawyer in a small town. Only talk to someone who is a bona fide med/mal atty, not someone who *also* does med mal. It matters to whom you speak.
I tell you to call a lawyer because you have a Constitutional right to seek redress under the law. However, there are some things you should know before you do because it may well change your mind. You will not feel better, and you will certainly become more angry. This is the nature of medical malpractie and tort reform.
In order to sue a doc for malpractice, you must first prove that the doc's care fell below the standard of care, and that that falling below the standard of care caused a permanent injury. Now you've got number one handled, but do you have number two? Permanent doesn't mean missing your fingertip. Permanent means unable to walk, talk, work, drive, live life as you always have before. Permanent means injured so completely as to affect other people's lives because you need help just to live every day. The average person on the street doesn't know this. They just call you greedy for suing those poor docs. They don't know that there's no such thing as an "I'm p*ssed" lawsuit; that judges can't award principle of the thing, they can only award what you have actually financially lost. As an example, when someone dies due to a medical mistake, most of those folks are classified as "non-economic damages." Because they don't need a lifetime care -- cuz they're dead -- their families don't get to sue.
I'm not being snarky. I know what it is to know the doctor failed, other doctor failed, nurses failed, the lot of them together blame you, they also call you greedy, and there's nothing you can do.
If your mom does not have *that* kind of an injury, you may well be entitled to the cap for non-economic damages, typically capped at $250k to $300k. The problem is it costs that much just to get to court in the first place, and you best believe the doc's insurance company will make your lawyer spend every bit of $250k to keep from having to pay you $250k. And it's the lawyer's $250k you're spending to get to court, not your own.
When a lawyer takes your case, you are essentially taking out an interest free loan. And the risk is all his because if you don't win, he doesn't recoup that money that he paid out. And that $250k does not include his fees. He doesn't get paid his fees, his hours worked, unless he wins. That $250k is just the court costs. That is medical experts, because you know as well as I do, docs will not speak against another doc. That is also economists who must be hired to count the cost of your injury. They will literally count how many pairs of ortho socks you will need over your lifetime, and you will not receive a penny more. That is court reporters, depositions, production, arbitrators, the whole nine yards.
I'm sorry your mom was hurt, and I'm sorry the doctor was such a pinhead. Why these guys don't get someone who knows what they're doing is beyond me. Are they that arrogant? Or do they really not know that they just don't know what they're doing? I find that to be a very valid question
Do contact a lawyer. It has happened before that a skilled lawyer rights a very artful letter and causes said doc to just pay the cost to fix the problem. No lawsuit, no millions of dollars, no years of drama and court costs, just, here's what it will cost to fix it, and I'll pay for that. It's worth a shot. Don't think evil of an attorney who wants to get paid for his work. We all want to get paid, and it's only lawyers who get demonzied for getting paid. Go figure.