A Brief Look at Nurse Malpractice Cases
Just as doctors can be seen as failing to perform their duty, show negligence, and be deemed guilty of malpractice, nurses can as well. Of course, the issue of nurse malpractice can be just as complicated as a surgeon or doctor’s malpractice, and just as an injured person has to prove that the doctor is to blame for their injury or damages, the same applies to any nurse malpractice.
This makes it clear that you need to understand the different elements of nurse malpractice cases before you can successfully pursue compensation for any injuries or damages you may have sustained, and one of the smartest first steps you should take is to get in touch with a skilled attorney as soon as possible. Why? Because, as already stated, you have to prove your case in order to get the compensation owed, and that can be very challenging with a nurse malpractice claim.
Many Ways Malpractice Occurs
If you look at the ways that a doctor might be blamed for malpractice it appears a bit simple or streamlined compared to the countless ways that a nurse might fail in his or her duties. Consider that a nurse might give the wrong medicines or the wrong dosages. They might fail to communicate that action is necessary to help or save a patient. They might injure a patient by using equipment wrongly. They may even fail to monitor a patient, and it may lead to injury or death.
There are many, many ways that this situation can occur, and it can be mistaken for a doctor’s negligence or the blame can be too easily placed on someone else such as a hospital orderly or another employee. This is why it is important to work with an attorney to clarify just what happened, and to then begin to build the case that identifies the nurse who failed in their duty.
Who Is Liable for Nurse Malpractice?
Once you have it clear that the nurse is the person who caused some sort of injury to occur, it is time to figure out just who is liable. There are only a few options, and so it becomes a relatively easy thing to figure out. For instance, a hospital might be the nurse’s employer, and so any harm that comes to a patient while that nurse is employed or doing his or her duties is going to be a liability for the hospital.
Even if the nurse was working with a physician at the time (who is not a hospital employee), it may still be the hospital that is liable if the nurse was not in the control or under direct observation of the physician. For the most part, it is the hospital that ends up being liable in most cases of nurse malpractice.
The doctor may be liable if he or she is directly supervising a nurse when something occurs, but only if the doctor was present at the time the incident occurs or if the doctor somehow had the ability to stop the nurse from behaving negligently. As a prime example of this, a nurse who administers far too much of a medication to a patient, and it results in an injury, would be a liability for the hospital. However, if a doctor was with that nurse, attending a patient, when that problem occurred, it may be the doctor who is now liable.
As you might guess, this can easily become a matter of one person’s word against another. This is why it is of the utmost importance to enter into a nurse malpractice case with the full support of an attorney. If you, or someone you love, has been injured or even killed due to malpractice of this kind, you won’t want to leave the outcome in the hands of anyone but a qualified legal expert.
NOLO.com. Nursing Malpractice. 2015. http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/nursing-malpractice-30076.html