Who can be sued in a medical malpractice case?

Depending on the nature of a medical malpractice case, several parties may be sued. It is most common to sue the hospital. Hospitals can be held liable for their own negligence and for negligence on the part of their employees (vicarious liability). Their employees may include doctors, nurses, nurses’ aides and other medical professionals. Examples of negligence on the part of a hospital include failure to hire enough staff and failure to screen employees. The hospital may be vicariously liable for any malpractice performed by an employee, as long as the employee was acting within his or her scope of practice.

In some cases, doctors and health care providers work for hospitals as independent contractors. In such cases, the provider can be sued for malpractice directly. In addition, the hospital may still be held liable if a physician was unlicensed or incompetent. The doctor or health care professional may also be directly sued if he or she acted out of his or her scope of practice.

In cases where a pharmaceutical company failed to provide doctors with accurate information about the potential risks and side effects of medications, the pharmaceutical manufacturer may be held liable. This type of malpractice suit is less common.

If you believe you have a medical malpractice suit, please contact Joyce & Reyes for a free consultation.

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