In any state, medical malpractice law is one of the broadest laws. This law entitles one to file a lawsuit against the medical professional who performed below-standard medical care that caused severe injuries to the patient. If you or someone you know has been injured due to medical malpractice, you must go to personal injury lawyer VA Beach. In such cases, the attorney must prove that the doctor didn’t give the standard care that caused the injuries to the victim.
Medical malpractice lawsuits are complicated and different from other laws. Moreover, in Virginia, the standard of care for various specialties and practices is different than other states. Winning the case requires testimony to establish the standard of care that the doctor should have given and how he failed to offer it.
Now, let’s understand who can be held liable for the injuries caused to a victim due to medical malpractice.
Under “respondeat superior,” which is a legal theory in a medical malpractice case, if a hospital employs the defendant or injury causing person, the hospital is held responsible for the damages to the victim. If the employee is not cautious or negligent while treating the patient or dealing with them, the hospital will have to bear the legal consequences if the patient gets injured. It’s important to note that not all cases of mishandling and mistakes fall under negligence.
In any hospital, the nurses, support staff, and medical technicians are considered the employees. The patient can sue the hospital if they are injured due to the negligence of any of the employees.
If a registered nurse working in a hospital gives the wrong medicine or injection to a patient that leads to harm or serve damage, then the victim can sue the hospital. Although, if a doctor makes the same mistake, the victim can sue the hospital only if the doctor is an employee of the hospital.
Moreover, if the hospital employee who causes the accident is working under the supervision of the doctor, the doctor will be held accountable instead of the hospital.
To determine whether the employee who committed the malpractice is under the doctor, the following points are considered;
- If the doctor was present or not
- Whether or not the doctor was capable of preventing the misconduct or negligence
Let’s understand this with an example.
During surgery, if the attending nurse misses counting the exact number of surgical sponges, which leads to a surgeon leaving a sponge inside the patient, the surgeon will be liable.
Now let’s see how to determine whether the doctor is an employee of the hospital or not.
In most cases of medical malpractice, personal injury law firm Virginia Beach focuses on determining whether to hold the hospital accountable for the negligence of the doctor.
To figure this out, it’s essential to consider if the doctor is an independent contractor or an employee of the hospital. If the non-employee doctor causes the negligence, the patient can’t sue the hospital.
The doctor is considered an employee if,
- The hospital controls his working hours
- He is paid for his services as per the charges set by the hospital.