Who is Liable in a Medical Malpractice Case?
If you suffer an injury due to inadequate medical care in New Jersey, you may be wondering what constitutes medical malpractice. It can be difficult to understand the complexities of medical malpractice and to determine if perhaps, you have grounds for a claim. The first thing to ask yourself is: were you injured? In other words, did you suffer harm? If so, the next question is: was there negligence on the part of a person or organization responsible for providing you with care?
Negligence refers to conduct that fails to meet the acceptable standard of care. Standard of care simply means the level of proficiency and skill that another medical professional would reasonably provide in a similar situation. If these two essential requirements are satisfied, the next task is determining liability.
Medical malpractice liability refers to the party or parties who should be held legally responsible for your injuries. If a doctor, nurse, or hospital failed to provide an adequate standard of care, they are said to be negligent and thus, liable for damages. Notably, there can be multiple negligent parties named in a medical malpractice lawsuit. For example, if a doctor and a nurse failed to coordinate during your treatment and you suffered complications as a result, the doctor, the nurse, and the hospital may have breached their duty of care. So, who can be liable in a medical malpractice case?
In many medical malpractice cases, it is the primary treating physician who is liable. For example, a surgical error is often the responsibility of the surgeon performing your procedure. Perhaps your doctor prescribed the wrong medication or the wrong dosage. Or maybe they failed to order the necessary tests to diagnose a serious condition such as meningitis or cancer. Misdiagnosis is also a common form of medical negligence on the part of doctors. Sometimes, failing to diagnose or misdiagnosing a condition can allow a more dangerous illness to progress past the point at which treatment is effective.
Negligence among nurses is also a frequent occurrence in medical malpractice cases. For instance, failing to monitor a patient after surgery, also known as postoperative negligence, can lead to extreme pain and suffering. If a nurse doesn’t keep a close eye on a patient’s vital signs, urine output, or fluid levels, severe complications may result. Nurses are also responsible for administering certain medications during hospital stays. Errors administering intravenous drugs can be serious, if not fatal.
There are instances in which negligence occurs within the hospital due to inadequate communication or coordination in care among employees. Hospitals can also be found negligent for failing to properly train medical staff, maintaining unsanitized environments or tools, or mistakes in the emergency room (ER).
Other Medical Professionals
There are a host of medical professionals you may encounter during the course of treatment, many of whom are essential to the diagnostic or treatment process. For example, doctors rely on radiologists to properly conduct diagnostic tests. Anesthesiologists also serve a vital function when you undergo surgery or another medical procedure that requires sedation. Medical technicians must take extreme care when taking and handling blood samples and other tests. Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT’s) are often forced to make split-second judgment calls that spell long-term implications for the quality of your life. When any of these individuals fail to provide adequate care, a patient can quickly become a victim.
Wondering if you have a Medical Malpractice Claim in New Jersey?
As you can see, the list of potentially liable parties in a medical malpractice case is extensive. If you have been injured as a result of medical negligence in New Jersey, an experienced medical malpractice attorney can help determine all liable parties in your case. At Fronzuto Law Group, our firm conducts thorough investigations to identify any and all instances of medical negligence, after which we assemble a claim for maximum damages. If you need to file a medical malpractice claim in New Jersey, contact us today at 973-435-4551 for a free case evaluation. You can also reach out online for more information.