When someone thinks of medical malpractice, their mind likely conjures an image of a doctor making a mistake during surgery or some other oversight. However, it is important to understand that medical malpractice can be committed by an array of medical professionals, including nurses.
Medical Malpractice and Nurses
If a nurse fails to meet the standard of their profession and a patient is seriously harmed because of that failure, it may be possible to hold that nurse accountable through a medical malpractice claim. There are different ways that an error or oversight by a nurse could form the basis for a malpractice claim, including:
- Failure to properly monitor a patient’s vital signs
- Failure to follow the instructions or directives of a doctor
- Failure to report a patient’s change of condition to the attending physician
- Failure to properly administer or deliver a necessary medication
Pursuing Financial Restitution through a Nursing Malpractice Claim
A nursing malpractice claim is similar, in terms of procedure, to a malpractice claim filed against a doctor. You will almost certainly need to retain the services of a medical expert to review your records and state whether there is evidence that the nurse breached the applicable standard of care that a competent nurse would have followed during your treatment. It is critically important to have evidence showing a breach of the standard of care since that is necessary to establish liability on the nurse.
Establishing Liability in a Nursing Malpractice Claim
In order to hold a nurse accountable for medical malpractice, you need to satisfy four key legal elements to establish civil liability:
- Standard of Care – A nurse has a duty to adhere to the accepted standard of care and to keep you safe during your time at the medical facility.
- Breach of Duty – When a nurse fails to adhere to the expected duty of care during your treatment, a breach has occurred.
- Causation –To succeed in obtaining financial restitution through a nursing malpractice claim, there needs to be evidence showing cause and effect between the nurse’s action or inaction and the injury.
- Economic and Non-Economic Damages – You need to be able to present evidence that your injury, or injuries, caused economic and/or non-economic harm. Common examples of recoverable damages include medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Medical Expert Testimony
Selecting the right expert witness is critically important since you cannot simply select anyone in the medical profession. Depending on the facts of your case, you may need to obtain the services of a nurse in the same specialty as the nurse who harmed you or a loved one. This is just one of the reasons why it is so important to speak with an experienced medical malpractice attorney in Massachusetts. A skilled and seasoned nursing malpractice attorney can help guide you through the claims process and locate a top-notch expert witness to strengthen your case.
Injured by the Careless or Reckless Actions of a Nurse? Speak to an Experienced Medical Malpractice Lawyer Today
Suffering a serious injury due to the careless or reckless actions of a nurse can be traumatic and life-altering. You may feel powerless and unsure about what to do next. The law firm of Eden Rafferty is here to help. We are a respected and trusted personal injury law firm based in Worcester, Massachusetts. Our team of legal professionals possesses decades of collective experience handling complex personal injury cases, including medical malpractice cases. We do all we can to pursue maximum compensation for your harms and losses after getting injured by a nurse, doctor, or other members of the medical profession.