Who Could Be Liable in a Medical Malpractice Case?

There are few things worse than knowing that you have been diagnosed with an illness that you never actually had or were the victim of a botched surgery. In addition to the physical and emotional pain, you could accrue thousands or even millions of dollars in medical bills. However, with the help of a medical malpractice expert witness, it may be possible to hold all parties who hurt you liable for their actions.

The Hospital Where the Mistake Happened Could Be Liable

If you were hurt during a surgery or received an incorrect diagnosis in a hospital setting, that hospital could be liable. In theory, it is responsible for overseeing its employees and everything that they do. However, plaintiffs must show that the doctor was actually an employee if they hope to hold the hospital liable for his or her error.

The Doctor May Be Considered Negligent

In the event that your doctor makes an incorrect diagnosis, it may be considered medical malpractice. This may be true if he or she was negligent or failed to live up to the standard of care that is owed to a patient. An expert witness may be able to verify whether or not a correct diagnosis could have been made based on his or her experience and tools available when making it.

A Surgeon Who Operates On You Could Be Liable

A surgeon who makes a mistake during a procedure could be sued for medical malpractice. This is true even if the mistake was made by a team member and not be the surgeon him or herself. Like a hospital overseeing its employees, the lead surgeon is responsible for everything that his or her assistants do while treating a patient.

The Person Who Makes a Mistake During Surgery Can Be a Defendant

Although the surgeon is responsible for his or her team members, it doesn’t absolve the person who actually made a surgical mistake from liability. That person may be held personally liable in a civil suit or named in a criminal suit depending on the details in the case.

Your Insurance Company May Be Responsible Too

If your insurance company wouldn’t pay for a procedure that you needed, it could be liable for negligence. For instance, if you couldn’t get a surgery that was medically necessary and your condition worsened, a jury may find that the insurer played a role in what happened.

There are many parties that need to work together to ensure a patient gets the care that he or she needs. If one or more parties doesn’t live up to their responsibilities, all of those parties may be ordered to pay damages determined either by a jury or through a negotiated settlement.