Most people know that doctors can be held accountable for their actions
by patients who sue them for medical malpractice, but can you do the same
for other medical attendants such as nurses? Because nurses aren’t
actually doctors, many people aren’t sure if they’re subject
to the same rules and laws that protect patients. Here are what the laws
say regarding nurses and how they could also be held accountable for mistakes
that could cause you physical or emotional harm when you’re in their care.
Hospitals are directly responsible for the staff they employ, which means
that any physicians, surgeons, and attendants must be trained and licensed.
When one of these staff members makes a mistake, then it’s the hospital
who is held responsible. This means that if nurse negligence causes you
harm while you’re being cared for in one of these medical facilities,
you can hold their employer directly responsible for it. For example,
if a hospital fails to do its due diligence in investigating the credentials
and licenses of a nurse before offering them a job, they could be held
responsible when that nurse causes harm to a patient in some way.
This concept is known as the doctrine of “respondeat superior,”
which essentially says the hospital is vicariously liable for the conduct
of their employee, so long as the conduct of the employee occurred while
they were acting within the scope of their employment.
Private Practice Negligence
However, doctors don’t always practice their trade while under the
direct employment of one of these facilities. Many doctors choose to have
their own private practice, which in essence makes them a business owner
and also puts the responsibility for their actions as well as the actions
of their staff directly on them. If an attending nurse causes you harm
while working for a private practice doctor, you can hold that practice
It’s also worth noting that sometimes private practice doctors work
in hospitals or other medical care facilities as independent contractors,
not directly as staff members of the institution. In these instances,
negligence by the doctor themselves would not be the responsibility of
the hospital, but the nurses who would be attending to you
could be. It all depends on who the employer of an individual medical professional
is and what capacity they were working for at the time the negligence occurred.
Do you need assistance with a medical malpractice issue?
Call The Maher Law Firm at (855) 338-0720 and let an Orlando medical malpractice attorney help
you with your case!