When patients are injured in a hospital it is not always apparent who the responsible party is. Determining who to hold accountable for medical negligence when a patient suffers injuries unnecessarily can be difficult. It is not always as simple as suing the individual directly responsible for negligence or incompetence in your injuries.
The fact is that often the hospital or medical center where the negligence took place can also be held responsible for your injuries, that dependent upon who was responsible for your injuries.
Doctors: When doctors cause patient injury, patients can typically seek damages from the doctor whose negligence their injuries can be traced to. However, even though the incident or negligence may have occurred in a hospital setting, physicians are not often employees of hospitals where they practice.
If the hospital does not actually employ the physician in question, the hospital cannot be expected to pay damages in a medical malpractice case where the doctor is responsible for the injuries.
If, however, the doctor is indeed an employee of the hospital where the medical malpractice took place, the hospital can in fact be named in a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Nurses and Technicians: Nurses are, of course, capable of committing malpractice in a hospital setting as well. After all, nurses are often the medical professionals who administer the most care in hospitals today. When a nurse is responsible for injuries through negligence or incompetence, it is not as easy to determine if the hospital can also be held liable. Certain conditions apply if the hospital can be included in any medical malpractice claim.
- The nurse must be employed by the hospital.
- The nurse must not be under the direct supervision of the attending physician.
If the nurse is acting under the supervision of a physician (who is not employed by the hospital) when the negligence occurs, the physician may be held liable for any medical malpractice claim.
When in emergency situations, staff like EMTs and paramedics often enjoy a greater latitude when medical malpractice lawsuits come to bear. The fact is that laws offer more protection for first responders to preserve first responder services from frequent lawsuits. However, first responders don’t have complete protection from medical malpractice claims.
ER Doctors and Nurses
Standard medical malpractice rules still apply to ER physicians and nurses. But remember medical negligence claims will still need to stand up to several key tests:
- The patient must be under the care of the physician or medical professional in question.
- The medical mistake or negligence must have caused further patient injury; and
- Another competent and educated medical professional of the same specialty (and under the same set of circumstances) would have provided a medical standard of care that surpassed the treatment received in this case.
If you would like to discuss a medical malpractice claim, please contact the experienced personal injury attorneys of Bizzieri Law Offices at 773.881.9000. We have a wealth of experience winning the highest awards for our clients. We will fight for your rights and get you the compensation you deserve, so that you can get back to living your life.