When a medical malpractice occurs, it is easy to assume that the doctor is wholly responsible for it. However, this is not the case because there are other parties who may be liable for the malpractice. Examples of such parties include the following.
The hospital may be responsible for your injuries under two principles:
- Negligence – the hospital may be liable for your malpractice if it negligently hired the medical professional who caused your injury. An example is when a hospital fails to carry out due diligence when hiring a professional, and it later turns out that he or she is isn't qualified for the position. You could also sue the hospital for your injury if it did not provide enough staff, say nurses, to take care of you and prevent an injury.
- Vicarious liability – under vicarious liability, employers may be held liable for actions of their employees. Therefore, if the person that caused the harm was an employee (even a non-doctor employee such as a remodeling contractor) of the hospital, then the latter may be a defendant in your personal injury suit.
Nurses have duties that they are expected to fulfill in the course of their normal operations. When a nurse fails in any of these duties, and the result is your injury, then he or she will also be a respondent in your medical malpractice claim.
An example of a situation in which a nurse may be held liable for your injury is when he or she gives you inappropriate medication. Administering medication is one of the nurses' duties, in most practices. Therefore, if he or she injects you with an overdose (for example), then he or she will be liable for the consequences.
Even a drug manufacturer may be liable for your malpractice if the injury is traced back to its drugs. Note, however, that this is only possible if the manufacturer failed to warn your doctors of the possible side effects of taking the drug. If it did warn the physicians, but they failed to warn you, then the fault lies squarely with the responsible doctors.
As you can see, there are a number of people who you can name as respondents in your medical malpractice claim. It is good to list them all so that you can get the maximum settlement you deserve. Don't forget that naming the wrong party can invalidate your claim; therefore, consult an attorney like Marquard & Associates first before naming anybody.