People entrust medical professionals with their care to treat them when they are not well. The relationship between these two entities may be easily upset if a patient ends up being harmed by the action — or inaction — of a healthcare worker. When such a situation arises, Connecticut patients or their families may wonder who can be held responsible. While doctors and nurses might first spring to mind, another possibility is that medical malpractice claims can be filed against anyone who provides healthcare services.
If a patient is hurt while in the care of a hospital, the hospital itself can be held liable in civil suits, through direct or vicarious liability. Direct liability means that the hospital itself was negligent, possibly through insufficient staffing — either by not having enough staff for patient care or by having under-qualified staff — or various other instances. Vicarious liability refers to the mistake of one of the hospital’s otherwise-qualified employees and it helps those who may have been hurt by medical personnel who may otherwise be unable to remunerate any expenses to patients.
Another possible party that might be held responsible in medical malpractice cases is a pharmaceutical company. This can be more difficult to prove, as they can only be declared liable if a drug they produced harmed a patient after their failure to communicate possible side effects to doctors. If a manufacturer does not take every reasonable measure to warn doctors of any risks that may be associated with taking their drug, they could be held liable under product liability laws.
Those Connecticut families who believe they or a loved one were injured or harmed by the negligence of any medical professional or healthcare provider may choose to file a medical malpractice claim in the hopes that a successful suit might offer them monetary restitution related to their hardship.
Source: FindLaw.com, “Medical Malpractice: Who Can Be Sued?” July 21, 2014