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Liability varies in medical and hospital malpractice cases

Anyone who seeks care from a medical professional wants to find out what medical condition is causing their symptoms. They also want to find out a treatment plan for the condition. In every case, the patient has a right to receive proper medical care that is done in an acceptable manner. Some patients might find that their medical case wasn't handled properly. When that occurs in Kentucky, victims of that medical malpractice might opt to pursue compensation. The question then comes up about who should be named as a defendant. The answer to that isn't always easy because there might be more than one person who can be sued for medical malpractice.

Most obviously, the medical professional responsible for the malpractice can likely be used. That person, however, isn't the only option. Pharmaceutical companies and hospitals can also be sued for medical malpractice in some circumstances.

If a drug is what caused the injury to the patient, the pharmaceutical company can sometimes be held liable. One point about this is that the manufacturer has to fail to warn the doctor of the dangers of the drug. The pharmaceutical company doesn't have to warn patients. Instead, the pharmaceutical company only has a duty to warn the doctors. If the doctor knows about the potential danger and still prescribes the drug to the patient, the doctor might be considered liable because the doctor is the person who has the duty to tell the patient about the dangers.

Hospitals can be held liable for medical malpractice in some cases. The hospital has the duty to ensure there is adequate staff to care for patients. This includes having enough registered nurses to accommodate patients. If a hospital has a nursing shortage and a patient is injured, the hospital can be held liable. The same is true if an employee of the hospital injures a patient. In that case, the hospital could be considered vicariously liable for the patient's injury.

Determining who to list as a defendant in the lawsuit sometime requires digging into the case. It is vital for anyone who has been injured in a medical malpractice or medical negligence case to determine the correct parties to list as defendants.

Source: FindLaw, "Medical Malpractice: Who Can Be Sued?" accessed Mar. 05, 2015

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