Help from an Experienced Attorney: Are Nurses Accountable for Medical Malpractice?
Nurses are also health professionals. As such, they can be guilty of medical negligence too. In such instances, the employers are held accountable for the actions or lack thereof by the nurses.
Help from an Attorney
The first step is to consult with a medical malpractice attorney to determine who to hold accountable, what the extent of the malpractice is, and which steps to take to ensure a successful outcome of the legal process against the defendant.
With medical law being rather complex, it is best to make use of an attorney specialising in personal injury and medical malpractice to provide you with legal assistance. In many instances, out-of-court settlements can be reached, helping you to receive compensation for the injuries and damages suffered without lengthy court proceedings. However, if it is not possible to reach a settlement and you choose to proceed with further litigation to receive compensation, you want an experienced attorney known for taking on and winning complex lawsuits.
What is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice occurs when the actions or lack thereof by a healthcare professional lead to harming of the patient. The injuries suffered must be the direct result of the treatment, sub-standard treatment or lack of any type of treatment by the healthcare professional. There must have been a duty of care, and thus a healthcare professional and patient relationship.
As the attorney can explain, the malpractice can be based on the negligence of the duty of care, an infringement of the patient’s rights where the patient has not given informed consent for the particular treatment, breach of duty where the nurse, for instance, fails to provide the required minimum standard of care and the patient suffers injury as a result thereof, the performance of unnecessary procedures such as extensive tests not relevant to the patient’s condition, failure to treat the patient and thus breach of medical duty, misdiagnosis, as well as gross mistakes that cause severe harm.
For example, a nurse can cause the patient’s wounds to become severely infected because of not carrying out the duty of proper application or removal of bandages. The injuries sustained by the patient may be so severe as to cause secondary infections, and even the loss of a limb.
Nurses can provide incorrect dosages of medication, cause the patients to suffer harm by giving them the wrong medicine, or they may fail to administer essential medication.
The nurses may fail to provide essential minimum care such as water or food, causing patients to suffer from dehydration and hunger to the level where they are weakened and unable to recover from serious health issues.
Right to Compensation
If you have suffered injury and damages as a patient at a hospital in South Africa, it is essential to determine who is to be held accountable. In some instances, it can be several nurses, one or more doctors, and the hospital administration. You are entitled to compensation from the relevant parties. Get help from an experienced medical malpractice attorney to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve for such damages suffered.
Disclaimer: This article is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Call on our attorneys rather than relying on the information herein to make any decisions. The information is relevant to the date of publishing. March 2020.