Who Can Be Sued in a Medical Malpractice Case?

As a concept, medical malpractice isn’t limited to a physician’s conduct; it also applies to anesthesiologists, nurses, pharmacies and others providing healthcare services. Proving fault is the main goal of a malpractice suit, and while doctors are the primary targets, other entities share liability in many cases as well. This article will focus on who can be sued in a malpractice claim.

Hospitals
A hospital is either a public or private entity. In medical malpractice cases, a hospital can be held liable for its negligence, and it can be held vicariously liable for employees’ negligence as well. In vicarious liability cases, a party is held liable for another person’s negligence. A hospital’s staff consists of licensed healthcare providers such as doctors, nurses and physicians’ assistants. In hiring, hospitals must learn about an applicant’s training, licensing and education.

If the hospital fails to do so, and a worker’s negligent act harms a patient, it can be held liable under the doctrine of corporate negligence of retention and supervision. A hospital can be liable for its own negligent acts if it fails to investigate a physician’s credentials before granting privileges. Hospitals must also have an adequate registered nursing staff to ensure quality care.

Vicarious Liabilities
When a medical worker’s negligence harms a patient, the hospital can be held liable under the respondeat superior doctrine. Here, an employer can be held liable for employee negligence if the worker was acting within the range of his or her normal job duties when the act was committed. This particular doctrine is important in medical malpractice cases because it helps ensure that someone is held financially accountable for the act.

Pharmacies
In some instances, pharmaceutical companies and pharmacies can be held liable if a drug injures patients, but only if the drug’s maker failed to warn doctors of potential risks. The pharmaceutical companies have a duty to physicians, and aren’t usually held liable unless they failed to warn doctors.

If someone has a medical malpractice claim, but they’re unsure of whom to hold liable, a medical malpractice lawyer could help them find the answers to the above questions. Lawyers with Vermontlawyers.net will discuss a case’s weaknesses and strengths, and they will advise clients as to who should be held responsible.

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