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Who is liable in a medical malpractice case?

That question may seem silly. "Obviously the doctor or surgeon that botched the procedure," you may think. However, there are more layers to this question than it appears. First of all, it is important to note that many different people, organizations and medical institutions can be caught up in a medical malpractice lawsuit.

If a doctor fails to diagnose something that he or she should have noticed (or had ample evidence to diagnose), then they can be held liable. If a surgeon makes a mistake during surgery, then he or she can be held liable. If a nurse improperly performs a medical procedure, he or she can be held liable.

At the same time, though, the hospital could be held liable in any of those circumstances through "vicarious liability." The hospital could also be held directly liable for a medical malpractice incident.

Other medical situations could dictate that different parties are at fault. For example, a pharmaceutical company could be held liable for one of their drugs causing serious issues to patients. Alternatively, a pharmacy could be held liable if they give an incorrect prescription to a customer.

No matter what the specific circumstances are in your medical malpractice case, though, you will need an attorney to help you get through the case. Suffering due to a medical mistake is not something to take lightly -- you need compensation to help you recover from the incident and the people at fault need to be held responsible for their substandard care.

Source: FindLaw, "Responsible Parties in Birth Injury Cases: Who Can Be Sued?," Accessed Oct. 15, 2015

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