Who can be liable for medical malpractice?

Who can be liable for medical malpractice?

Residents in Maryland may benefit from understanding more about who can be held liable for a medical malpractice injury. Dependent on the circumstances of the incident, the hospital, medical staff, practitioners and other medical professionals involved with the faulty treatment may be considered liable for the ensuing damages. Pharmaceutical companies and healthcare facilities are often named as defendants in these types of lawsuits.

Pharmaceutical firms may be held liable if the product causes an injury and features substandard labeling that fails to adequately inform doctors or patients of the potential health risks. Under these types of circumstances, pharmaceutical companies’ primary duty is to the practitioners. If the pharmaceutical company makes reasonable efforts to provide a warning about the risks, they may be protected from civil action. Products with inadequate warnings labels of potential risks are considered to be unreasonably dangerous, and the manufacturer may be held liable for damages.

However, physicians prescribing the medication are considered learned intermediaries. When provided with sufficient information from the manufacturer, the practitioner becomes responsible for giving patients the appropriate recommendation about the product. The healthcare facility may be found vicariously liable if an employee responsible for the malpractice injury. Hospitals may be considered directly negligent for hiring incompetent employees, being understaffed or operating in a substandard fashion.

Patients who have suffered an injury due to medical errors may consider contacting a lawyer as early as possible. Legal representation may serve as an effective intermediary for communicating with insurers and hospital administration. Lawyers may investigate the incident in an effort to determine who can be held liable for the ensuing damages. Lawyers may be able to help malpractice victims obtain restitution for any ongoing care, corrective surgery, medical expenses or loss of income caused by the error.

Source: Findlaw, “Responsible Parties in Birth Injury Cases: Who Can Be Sued?” September 19, 2014

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