Nursing malpractice is found when a nursing professional has been negligent in administering healthcare and causes harm or damage to a patient. A mistake could have occurred in administering medicines or in keeping records or even in the event of a wrong diagnosis.
If this occurs within your practice, there are a number of people who could also be associated with the nursing malpractice lawsuit and found responsible for deviating from general standards of acceptable practice and care, which may also extend to poor sanitation, or neglectful nurse care. State and/or federal agencies can also be held responsible for failed nursing care.
In most nursing malpractice cases, providers involved includes nurses, the attending physician, radiologists, pathologists, and consulting specialists, if the setting is a hospital.
In an office, in addition to physicians and nurses, even outside consultants and physicians who treated the patient prior to his/her visit can be held responsible.
Some attorneys who don’t know who specifically to name in a lawsuit, will end up naming everyone involved with the practice to ensure they are complete in trying to find someone responsible for the mistake.
While the law is on the side of patients’ rights in the event of an injury caused by nursing malpractice, the lawsuit scenario itself is often extremely complex. Costs alone could be enough to delay filing a lawsuit and eventually winning one.
It’s good to remember that of the lawsuit threats that do become reality, there can be a number of different people brought into a lawsuit as a “responsible party”. Even if you have only had remote contact with the patient – maybe you don’t even know the patient directly – you may still have a financial responsibility to bear in the lawsuit.
When things are going well in your job as a nursing professional, it’s easy to forget that the rug can be pulled out easily from underneath you. Take some time to review the nursing malpractice portion of your liability insurance policy in the event that a patient has named you as part of their lawsuit. Having this knowledge can help you to better weather that storm. Also, taking the extra precaution of having your own malpractice insurance policy is important when defending your name, license and career.