Medical malpractice liability is not limited to medical doctors. Depending on the situation
and the nature of the healthcare worker’s employment, there are
a number of healthcare providers or establishments that might be held
accountable in a malpractice suit.
In addition to physicians and surgeons, various medical professionals—such
as nurses, anesthesiologists, physician’s assistants, psychiatrists,
dentists, chiropractors, and alternative medicine providers—can
be held liable for medical malpractice. Similar to cases involving a doctor,
the patient/victim must prove that the provider owed a duty of care to
him or her, that the provider breached that duty by deviating from the
acceptable standard of care, the provider’s breach resulted in the
patient’s harm, and that the plaintiff was injured.
Hospitals are corporations that are either private or public entities.
In regards to medical malpractice, hospitals can either be held directly
responsible for their own negligence or be held “vicariously”
liable for the negligence of their employees.
In regard to direct hospital negligence, if a hospital fails to make reasonable
inquiries when it comes to hiring medical staff, it may be held liable
under the “corporate negligence” doctrine for negligent supervision
and retention, if the staff members’ negligent care injures a patient.
Furthermore, hospitals must ensure that there is a sufficient number of
registered nurses on duty at all times to maintain quality care for patients,
so they can be held liable for injuries to patients caused by a nursing shortage.
On the other hand, the hospital may be held vicariously liable according
to the legal doctrine of “respondent superior.” This means
that an employer may be held labile for the negligent actions of its employee,
if the employee was acting within the scope of his or her employment when
the accident occurred.
In situations where a drug caused a patient injury, a pharmaceutical manufacturer
may be liable. However, pharmaceutical companies can only be sued if they
failed to warn physicians of the drug’s potential side effects or dangers.
For more information,
contact Halperin Law Center and schedule a
free consultation with our Richmond personal injury attorney today.