Medical malpractice is more common of a problem than you think. Human beings aren’t perfect, even if they have doctorate degrees. There’s a lot of practice and experience that comes with being a doctor, but it’s not just doctors who mess up. There are anesthesiologists, pharmaceutical companies, nurses, and the healthcare facilities themselves they can prove to be negligent and cause injury.
When medical malpractice happens, it’s often more than just making a mistake and you should probably get a personal injury lawyer involved. It’s a major lapse in judgment and/or not using the procedures they were taught in school to complete a task. Let’s take a look at the different types of negligence and who would be held liable in the event of an injury as a result of medical malpractice.
Hospital Malpractice and Negligence
Hospitals are often major corporations within themselves. They can be private or public entities and when something happens on their grounds, they can be held directly liable due to mistakes that they’ve made. Just like if an employee messes up on the job and causes an injury at any other place of employment, the company would be held liable for the mistake of their employees. It’s the same way with hospitals. This is called vicarious liability.
Vicarious liability means that the staff who works at the hospital is chosen by them, and as such, they are held liable for the actions of their staff. As to the hospital’s responsibility to put the work into hiring only the best available doctors and other staff. You have to look at their education, their training, and all the different types of licenses that the potential staff member has. They might even look at past work experience and whether they’ve been accused of negligence in the past.
If the hospital question doesn’t do this, that is considered corporate negligence. They didn’t do a good enough job bringing in staff who could reasonably do a good job. And in failing to bring in the right staff, it caused the injury of another person. You might think that this is a rare occurrence, but it’s not. As a corporation, hospitals are out to make a profit. That means many of them are guilty of cutting corners and not taking the hiring process seriously enough. They understand injuries and deaths will occur under their care.
This is what makes them liable for damages. To take the hospital to court, you’d have to prove it was their negligence that caused the injury. You’d have to prove they didn’t do a good enough job investigating the credentials of their employees. They also have to make sure they have enough dedicated staff to take care of patients, like registered nurses and other types of medical personnel.
It’s also the hospital’s job to make sure they are keeping their patients from being hurt. This can include during testing, keeping accurate medical records for various purposes, and offering safe treatments to help heal the individual. They also need to conduct proper admission and discharge of the patient. Most hospitals are required by law to accept and treat any seriously injured or sick person. They may not discriminate, either. They must treat every person regardless of disability, color, religion, race, or even if they are able to pay for treatment or not.
As discussed above, when an employee of the hospital injures or hurts the patient due to negligence or malpractice, the hospital will most likely be held liable for the incident. Typically, employers are held liable for any of their employees show negligent behavior in how they act. It is up to the employer to not only bring on qualified professionals but also to check up on whether they do their job correctly. If they don’t, then something bad can happen and it often does.
Vicarious liability is important for a variety of reasons. It means that someone is going to be held financially responsible in the event of an injury. So, if a patient does get injured while at the hospital, they would be able to recoup damages as a result. The hospital most likely pays a hefty premium for insurance to help cover these types of situations.
In other cases, the doctor you go to may not be part of a hospital system. They would be considered independent contractors rather than employees of any hospital. The only way the hospital could be held in this situation is if they grant access to their facility to an incompetent doctor. Simply put, they might contract a doctor who isn’t fit to be treating patients the way he or she does. That would make the hospital liable. Otherwise, you’d have to go after the specific doctor.
When it comes to medications, doctors are supposed to prescribe patients what will work for them. They should know the patient’s history and what might interact with other medications they’re taking. You can watch any commercial and see the risks and complications that can develop if a patient has a prior medical condition. The doctor might be held liable for prescribing a medication that causes harm while knowing you shouldn’t take it.
On the other hand, it’s up to the pharmaceutical manufacturer to warn doctors about potential issues and side-effects of the drugs they sell. They are also private companies looking to make a profit. Sometimes they skip out on telling doctors every detail they need to know. When that happens, a patient can sue the pharmaceutical company.
The pharmaceutical company isn’t often associated with the patient. They only work with doctors. That’s why the drug company has to do its best to completely inform the doctor about any potential side-effects. It’s also why the drug companies extensively test the medications they put out and get approved by the FDA to show it’s safe and effective. The drug company has to reasonable warn the doctor about any potential side-effects, holding back no information that might put a patient’s life at risk.
When medical malpractice happens, you should contact a lawyer right away. They will be able to help inform you of your rights and what steps you should take next.