Like doctors, nursing professionals are advocates for patients’ health and wellness. A competent nurse acts accordingly and follows through with the patient, all in the latter’s best interests.
However, recent reports reveal an increasing number of hospital nurses implicated in nursing malpractice cases. Moreover, many of these are complex malpractice claims that are difficult to prove.
The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC represent people who suffered from nursing negligence. Our nursing malpractice lawyer will gather evidence to build your case and file your nursing malpractice claim.
Complete the contact form or call our Chicago medical malpractice lawyers at (888) 424-5757 for a free evaluation with a nursing malpractice attorney. All sensitive or confidential information you share with our lawyer remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
What Are the Four Elements of Nurse Malpractice?
Every healthcare professional is expected to act following the prevailing professional standards of care. Filing a lawsuit against a nurse requires proving that four elements of medical malpractice exist. These four elements include:
Duty Owed to the Patient
As healthcare professionals, nurses owe their patients to deliver quality care. They must interpret and follow orders from the doctor and ensure that all are undertaken correctly.
The duty of care placed on nurse professionals refers to their obligation to advocate for patients, following the expected standard of care.
Breach of Duty
The breach of duty occurs when a hospital nurse fails to carry on with their duties, resulting in adverse consequences to the patient. For example, a breach of duty happens when the nurse administers the wrong medication or dosage despite the instruction from the doctors.
The nurse breached the duty owed to the patient by failing to provide appropriate medication as instructed by the supervising doctor.
The Patient Suffered From an Injury Due to the Nurse’s Negligent Act
In filing a lawsuit or liability claim, it is crucial to establish that a breach of duty caused the patient to suffer from an injury. A lawsuit could not be filed against the nurse, doctor, and hospital if the patient did not suffer from any harm.
Causation That Led to Harm
Causation is difficult to prove in many nursing malpractice cases. The requirement to provide causation includes providing evidence of a direct cause-and-effect between the breach of duty and injury. The plaintiff must prove that the nurse’s negligence, and not any other factor, have caused the harm.
The plaintiff’s lawyer must put in a detailed investigation to prove that the patient suffered from harm due to the nurse’s failure to adhere to the standard duty of care.
If you or your loved one have been injured because a nurse failed to perform her duty of care, start here to find personal injury lawyers at our law office. Contact us to schedule a consultation with an attorney to discuss your medical malpractice claim.
When Does Nursing Malpractice Happen?
It is considered malpractice when the nurse fails to deliver their job duties competently, resulting in an injury to the patient. However, not all patient injuries amount to nursing malpractice cases.
Remember that harm to patients may still occur even with the care of the most competent nurse in the hospital. Below are situations where malpractice typically occurs:
Administering the Wrong Medication
The doctor instructed the administration of a particular medication, but the nursing professional failed to give the proper dose of medicine.
The nurse might be liable if the wrong dose caused the patient to suffer from complications that would not have occurred without the nurse’s negligence.
Mishandling of Medical Equipment
Patients or their representatives have the right to file a legal action against the nurse who was negligent in handling a piece of equipment, and this negligence hurt the patient.
An example of this type of malpractice is when a nurse fails to remove equipment or instruments from the body after surgery. The nurse may share responsibilities with the members of the surgical team who are involved in the procedure.
Failure to Act During an Emergency
As a professional, a nurse should not only take doctor’s orders. There are instances when the hospital nurse must take proper action to address the patient's needs. Failure to take appropriate action when necessary makes the nurse liable for damages.
Who Might Be Liable for a Nurse’s Malpractice Cases
Most medical errors happen not due to healthcare providers’ incompetence but rather to inconsistent processes, faulty institutional systems, and challenging working conditions.
In determining liability for medical malpractice claims, the hospital and doctors may be liable for the nurse’s action or inaction.
- Liabilities of hospitals. Under the doctrine of respondeat superior, a hospital has indirect responsibility for the negligence of its employees. As the nurse’s employer, hospitals are liable for the errors of a nurse’s negligence that amount to medical malpractice.
- Liabilities of physicians. A malpractice lawsuit filed against an attending doctor can hold them liable if they were present when someone else’s error led to injuries and they failed to prevent it.
Nursing Malpractice FAQs
Our personal injury attorneys understand that many families have unanswered questions about malpractice and dealing directly with insurance companies to receive compensation for damages. A lawyer from our law office has answered some of those questions below.
Contact our medical malpractice legal team at (888) 424-5757 or use the contact form for additional information and answers, or schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.
What Is the Most Common Source of Nurse Malpractice?
The most common source of malpractice among nurse professionals is improper medication administration. Studies show that nurse professionals commit about 65% of medication errors.
Most of the medication errors in a hospital were related to administering the wrong dosage and infusion rate. Moreover, about 65% of medication errors were made by nurse professionals.
Most of these errors were wrong dosage and infusion rates due to abbreviations instead of full names of drugs.
Why Is a Medical Expert Required to Testify in Malpractice Cases?
Proving malpractice or negligence is a complicated process. Expert testimony is needed so the court will know the proper actions that a nurse professional or another healthcare provider should have done in a similar situation.
What Does Malpractice Mean in Nursing?
Malpractice in the nursing profession is a term that focuses on the standard of care and the professional status of the healthcare provider. To be liable for malpractice, the plaintiff has to prove that the nurse did not promptly provide the expected quality of care.
Typically, the nurse failed to do something that a competent nurse would have done in the same situation. For example, it is considered malpractice when the nurse does not take the proper action to help a patient in a sudden emergency.
Who Are the Nurses Who Faced the Most Nurse Malpractice Lawsuits?
Hospital nurses working in the labor and delivery rooms are likely to be held liable for malpractice. The claims against the attending doctor and nurse in the labor and delivery room are partly due to the causal relationship between birth injuries and medical error.
Is a Nurse Liable for Negligence If They Injure a Patient With a Piece of Medical Equipment?
A hospital nurse might be liable for nursing malpractice or negligence if a patient was hurt due to the mishandling of a piece of medical equipment. In some cases, injuries can lead to life-threatening problems, including internal punctures, infection, or other health issues that could have been prevented had the nurse followed established protocols.
A Medical Malpractice Attorney Can Help You Get Relief
Do you believe that your injury resulted from nursing malpractice? The nurse may be liable, and you might be entitled to recover compensation for the value of your medical care, future medical needs, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC is committed to helping people who suffered from medical negligence and malpractice. Our law firm employs a medical expert to gather evidence so that we can develop a strong case for our clients.
Contact us at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) to schedule a free consultation. Our lawyer might ask relevant questions, such as how long ago the incident occurred and how the injury affected your mental and physical ability.
Our malpractice lawyer will let you know your options and answer all your questions about your legal issues. We accept all cases on a contingency fee agreement, meaning that no upfront fees are paid until the legal matter is resolved in your favor.