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Who is Responsible for Medical Errors?

Who is Responsible for Medical Errors?

They said it was a simple procedure, that you’d be out within a day. You’ve been in the hospital for two weeks, recovering from misdiagnosis and improper medication. You’re still in pain with no sign of a discharge any time soon. You fear what might happen next. One question keeps coming to mind. Who can you hold responsible for medical errors?

Doctors

In most cases, the doctor responsible for the malpractice is the only person liable for medical errors. The reason being that it was their diagnosis and their failure of medical skill that led to the malpractice. However, suing the doctor requires proof that your current affliction is a result of improper treatment and diagnosis error.

Assisting Staff

Assisting staff can be held responsible for medical malpractice under certain conditions. Nurses must protect your wellbeing and monitor your care. For example, let’s say the doctor failed to administer an allergy test before prescribing a new drug. The nurse administering the drug then failed to watch for adverse reactions. If you had a severe allergic reaction that caused lasting damage, both doctor and nurse would share some degree of responsibility.

The Hospital

Generally, hospitals are not legally responsible for the actions of their workers. They have positioned themselves to minimize their liability for staff errors. By hiring staff as independent contractors, hospitals can claim they have no responsibility for the doctor’s performance.

There are exceptions, of course. Hospitals are accountable when they hire unlicensed staff, fail to remove unsafe personnel, or if they mishandle patient records. Hospitals may be responsible for medical errors when they fail to keep a facility that is clean, safe, and properly staffed.

Determining who is responsible for medical errors requires nuance and sharp legal skills. If medical malpractice impacted you or someone you love, you might have a case. If you’d like one of our attorneys to evaluate your case, please send us an email or give us a call at (304) 605-2040.

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