Responsible Parties In Medical Malpractice Actions

Responsible Parties In Medical Malpractice Actions

It takes a lot of investigative work to determine all of the parties that may bear blame for a patient's injury. If an at-fault party is left out of a suit, it may leave the victim undercompensated and forfeit his or her ability to recover damages from that wrongdoer in the future.

Most people look at medical malpractice claims as lawsuits against doctors. While this is often true, many other parties may also be liable in the case. Nurses, technicians, physician assistants, radiologists and independent laboratories may be at fault. Typically, a malpractice claim also includes the hospital or clinic where the negligence occurred.

Hospital Negligence

There are several legal theories that may render a hospital liable for the wrongful actions of its employees.

Direct hospital negligence involves demonstrating hospital policies, actions or inaction that contributed to the patient's injury. If a hospital hires an unqualified, incompetent or otherwise dangerous employee, it generally assumes liability for any harm resulting from the negligent hiring.

Other examples of hospital negligence include:

  • Failing to perform tests
  • Disregarding the orders of a patient's independent physician
  • Understaffing that compromises a patient's health care
  • Failing to act properly in medical emergencies
  • Improperly discharging a patient

Vicarious liability is another method of culpability a plaintiff may assert in an Ohio medical malpractice claim. The legal doctrine of "respondeat superior" allows a patient to hold a hospital accountable for the negligent actions of its employees, so long as they occurred within their scope of employment. Vicarious liability is an important tool to leverage because an individual nurse or doctor may not have the means to sufficiently compensate a victim.

If you have questions about the particular parties potentially at fault in your claim, contact The Donahey Law Firm. Our experienced medical malpractice attorneys offer free consultations. Call 866-918-5886 or contact us online to secure a confidential discussion.