Medical malpractice is often an umbrella accusation. When applied properly, it occurs when a medical professional has been negligent in administering healthcare. This can include if an action or procedure may cause damage, physical or mental, to a patient.
Many procedures can be linked to malpractice, but mistakes can and do happen. Malpractice threats include:
- Administering medicines
- Keeping records
- Wrong diagnosis
- Deviating from general standards of acceptable practice and care
- Poor sanitation
- Neglectful nurse care
At a practice, there are multiple people who can be held accountable or associated with the malpractice lawsuit. In many cases, this makes both the individual and the practice liable. State and/or federal agencies can also be held responsible for failures in medical care.
Who can be involved?
In a hospital setting, most cases involve:
- Attending physician,
- Pathologists, and
- Consulting specialists
In an office, this list may also include:
- Outside consultants
- Physicians who treated the patient prior to his/her visit
Oftentimes, attorneys may name everyone in a practice.
Lawsuit threats can become a reality- and the definition of “responsible party” is incredibly loose. Even if you have only had remote contact with the patient, you may still have a financial responsibility to bear in the lawsuit.
Take some time to review the medical malpractice portion of your liability insurance policy. You could be named in a lawsuit, and the legal fees and lengthy court process can leave you susceptible to serious financial burden and professional threat. Take the extra precaution of having your own malpractice insurance policy is important when defending your name, license and career.