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Who Can Be Held Responsible for Medical Malpractice?

Feb 16, 2022 | Medical Malpractice

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After suffering an injury during a procedure or in the course of medical care, many people are unsure about who is responsible for those injuries or ailments. To get to the source of medical malpractice, attorneys work with doctors and medical experts who review your medical records and notes to find out what the cause of the victim’s injuries was in the case.

Sometimes it’s more obvious than others. But there are times when it is not obvious what went wrong and we have to explore the evidence to determine the cause.

Most doctors are good people and they’re human. The reality is, they do make mistakes sometimes. Hospitals and staff members also make mistakes. And in those scenarios, they need to take care of the patient who was harmed and injured in the process.

Medical Malpractice Case Example

We once worked with a client who lost his spouse to medical malpractice. The spouse went in for a medical procedure that required the medical team to open the patient up. The doctor did the main part of the procedure and then left and allowed the medical intern to close up the patient and finish the procedure.

The doctor left to play golf and the intern, not having the experience of the doctor and without direct supervision, nicked an artery in the process. The patient started bleeding.

Numerous attempts were made to get in touch with the doctor. However, the doctor ignored texts, pages, and calls, apparently because he was too involved in his golf game. The residency intern struggled with the process without experience and knowledge. Tragically, the patient bled out in that case.

That’s an extreme and horrific example. But there are many cases in which mistakes are made by medical professionals who simply don’t take enough responsibility for their role. 

Other Examples of Medical Malpractice

We had another case where a doctor worked on and amputated the wrong ankle during a surgical procedure. There was confusion as to the process for identifying the ankle and if the patient had identified the wrong ankle. The patient’s medical records showed that they had told the doctor and medical staff the correct ankle that needed the surgical procedure.

The doctor, who has many patients in a day, got confused and operated on the wrong ankle.

There is also medical malpractice where a doctor is not paying attention to the medications that a patient is taking currently – whether that doctor has prescribed them or another doctor prescribed them – and then the medication conflicts and that causes harm to the patient.

Ultimately, we go to medical professionals because we’re not doctors. We put trust in them that they are going to take care of us. As patients, we see something that we know nothing about and we want their expertise. When that trust is violated – for whatever reason – you have a claim and you should pursue that claim. There is insurance in place to cover these claims.  

The following parties could be responsible for medical malpractice.

  • Doctors
  • Medical practices
  • Hospitals
  • Pharmaceutical companies

These parties all have a responsibility to do what’s best for the patient and follow the standard of care the industry outlines. 

Medical Malpractice Lawyers With Decades of Experience

If you’re concerned you or a loved one might be the victim of medical malpractice in Indiana, you should contact Stewart & Stewart as soon as possible. Our team will evaluate your case for free and provide our expert opinion about whether your doctor acted appropriately. 

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