The Doctor is Not Alone

by | Sep 30, 2020

We receive many calls from clients who believe their doctor committed medical malpractice because they were improperly treated or diagnosed. However, in many of these cases, it is not the doctor alone who is responsible but, rather, it is the attending nurse or nurses at the hospital or in the office, a radiologist who improperly interprets an imaging study, or an anesthesiologist who improperly administers a sedative prior to surgery, who jointly bear responsibility for the medical error. The doctor is not off the hook and his or her staff, or attending hospital personnel, may be responsible as well.

Your doctor will make most of the decisions regarding your care and course of treatment. You have come to trust your doctor as the one who holds your life in his or her hands. While it is the doctor who is the “captain of your ship” and directs all of your medical care, your doctor also relies upon information relayed to him by his nurses during office visits, radiologists when interpreting studies, staff when taking medical histories or recording notes from telephone calls and the like. He/she will therefore often recommend a further study, or not recommend a further study, based upon this information. If your doctor does not receive the proper information or history, or record of your complaints, your doctor may not order that lifesaving test you or your family member so desperately need. As a result, your cancer diagnosis may be delayed, your kidney disease may not be timely treated and on and on. If the delay is caused by the radiologist, the nurse, or the anesthesiologist, your doctor, AND these other providers, may all be liable to you for your injuries or loved one’s death.

A nurse at a medical facility or hospital may also be jointly liable for medical malpractice when they do not properly assess a patient, when they misread a medication order, or when they administer the wrong amount or wrong type of medication. A radiologist may be jointly liable for reading a study and not detecting a cancerous lesion. On the surface you may believe it is the doctor who committed the malpractice when, in reality, it is the nurse or radiologist whose own individual action, or inaction, has led to your injuries. If a nurse or radiologist commits the error, the facility or hospital can also be held accountable as the nurse and/or the radiologist act as agents of the facility or the hospital.

Our office will try to find all of the individual providers who may be responsible for medical errors. It is often not just one provider but a host of additional providers—including nurses, radiologists, anesthesiologists, and the like, who may be at fault. We will pursue your claim so all who may have contributed to your injuries, or your loved one’s death, will be held accountable. This is an extremely difficult and challenging area of law and, though we are unable to help everyone who has been harmed, we do our best to determine the identities of all liable providers involved in the potentially negligent care. Please give us a call at 1-800-332-1992 and we will answer your questions.

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