When you hear the phrase “medical malpractice,” you might instinctively think about careless surgeons leaving foreign objects inside surgical openings or doctors prescribing inappropriate courses of treatment.
While these are valid examples of medical negligence, doctors and surgeons are not the only ones who can commit acts of medical malpractice.
Nurses are essential to your treatment team and perform many routine tasks to assist the doctor or surgeon in their duties. Just because nurses work under the supervision of doctors, though, does not mean they are immune from making errors that can cause harm to you or your loved ones.
3 Facts Your Nursing Malpractice Lawyer Wants You to Know
If you have been injured in an act of medical negligence, your ability to receive full compensation for your losses and injuries depends in part on identifying and bringing a claim against all who played a role in your injury.
These responsible parties can include the nurses that attended to you, and your nursing malpractice lawyer can assist you in bringing a successful claim for damages against them.
- Nursing negligence can occur in a variety of ways, such as:
- Failing to check on your vital signs at appropriate intervals while you are hospitalized
- Improperly administering medication to you or giving you the incorrect medication
- Not informing a doctor or other appropriate medical personnel when an emergency arises
- Causing further injury to you by improperly adjusting you in bed, allowing you to fall while walking, or missing signs of an infection that is setting in
Before you file a claim, it’s helpful to consider the following insights provided by a nursing malpractice lawyer with considerable experience in handling these sorts of claims:
1. Nurses Are Only One Potential Responsible Party in a Malpractice Lawsuit
In any medical injury event, several parties can be responsible for the harm you suffer. Your claim will identify and seek compensation from the nurse who committed these careless acts; however, your nursing malpractice lawyer might also identify several other medical personnel members as responsible for committing an act of carelessness.
For example, your suit may need to name the supervising doctors responsible for overseeing the nurse’s activities as co-defendants. The hospital where the nurse worked may also be a proper party in this lawsuit.
2. Nursing Malpractice Is Measured Similarly to Malpractice by Doctors
The elements of a claim brought by your nursing malpractice attorney are not that different from those you would find in any other medical malpractice case. Your attorney must show that your nurse provided care that fell below an objective standard of reasonableness and that this deficient care harmed you.
In determining whether your care was below this standard of reasonableness, a court will consider the nurse’s experience and training, the relevant practices and policies in the industry, and any special circumstances or challenges that the nurse was facing.
The similarities between these two types of malpractice cases do not stop at the elements of each claim, though. Just as a doctor is not a guarantor of a positive outcome, and there may be one of several reasonable courses of action your doctor can take, neither can nurses guarantee a positive outcome despite reasonable care.
Your nursing malpractice lawyer will need to review your medical records and depose witnesses to determine whether your harm was caused by negligent nursing care or by a reasonable decision that did not result in the anticipated outcome.
3. Your Nurse May Not Be Responsible for Your Injury
You might believe that if your nurse administered medication or performed some procedure, your nurse must be responsible for any injury you sustained. This conclusion is not necessarily true, however; it reveals the need for a thorough investigation by an experienced and seasoned nursing malpractice lawyer.
Suppose that your nurse was carrying out the directives of your treating physician, and the nurse had no reason to know that those directions were unreasonable or likely to result in harm. In this case, the doctor, and not your nurse, is likely responsible for paying you damages for your claim.
Contact The Trial Law Offices of Bradley I. Kramer, M.D., Esq.
If you have suffered medical harm and believe your nurse may be partly or wholly responsible, The Trial Law Offices of Bradley I. Kramer, M.D., Esq. can help.
When we take on your case, we will conduct an intensive investigation into the facts of your injury so that all medical personnel who rendered you negligent care are named and held to account. Contact us for a consultation today.