Medical malpractice is a broad term that encompasses different types of procedural errors, negligence, and misdiagnosis by healthcare professionals. If you sustain damage due to any such situation, you are entitled to recover damages from the professional responsible. Though these cases sound straightforward, they are far more complicated than you may think. And surprisingly, the scope and coverage of the law are much broader than you can imagine. It doesn’t just cover the doctors who treat you but also other providers who may be involved in the treatment and care in one way or the other. Here is what you need to know to understand this coverage.
Negligent healthcare providers who may be liable
Negligent or serious medical mistakes by a healthcare provider can have a dire impact on a patient. So the law holds these providers accountable for their negligent actions or inactions. Medical negligence or malpractice may occur at any hospital or medical facility and different healthcare providers may be liable. These may be the professionals serving as:
- Nursing assistants
- Nurse practitioners
- Physical therapists
- Nursing home administrators
Medical malpractice by doctors
A vast majority of malpractice cases involve errors and negligence by doctors. These are primarily classified into two types- the surgical and non-surgical context. Surgical cases are tougher to prove because every procedure has certain risks and patients are made to sign a waiver describing them prior to the surgery. Still, mistakes can happen and an experienced medical malpractice lawyer can make sure that you get compensated for them. Apart from surgical mishaps, doctors can be held liable for non-surgical malpractice and negligence as well. These include cases of misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, and faulty medication, dosage, or treatment.
Medical malpractice by other providers
Besides surgeons and physicians, other providers like nurses and nursing assistants may also be at fault. Nursing homes, hospitals, and assisted living facilities to utilize the services of these professionals for patient care. The instances of malpractice by them include failure to provide proper care to patients, mistreating or mishandling them, ignoring symptoms, errors in administering medications, failure to sterilize personal use items, failure to supervise the patient and call the doctor when required and poor communication with the doctors that leads to botched treatment. For providers who are employees of a nursing home, hospital or another medical facility, the responsibility towards patient care is with the facility as well. Generally, the patient can sue the medical facility to claim compensation for the negligence of their employees while they act within the scope of employment.
Even the best medical professionals can make mistakes and patients have to pay for them. You may suffer from short-term pain and suffering while the implications can be more serious and life-changing too. In worst-case scenarios, the patient may die due to a negligent error. In any case, you must claim compensation for yourself or a loved one from the responsible professional. This is your legal right as a patient and you must absolutely exercise it.