In providing care in a medical facility, a nurse is required to exercise the same ordinary or reasonable care as all other health practitioners to ensure that no unnecessary harm comes to the patient. Failure to meet this standard subjects nurses to medical malpractice liability.
Is a Failure to Respond to My Request for Assistance Evidence of Negligence?
Failure to respond to a patient's request for assistance or general absence during a work shift can be grounds for medical malpractice. Courts have held that if a patient is injured as a result of a nurse's failure to respond to a request for assistance or because a nurse on duty was absent, then the nurse has committed malpractice by violating the duty of care she owed to the injured patient.
How Is a Nurse's Performance Evaluated?
The standard of care required of a nurse is measured by the degree of care ordinarily exercised by other nurses in similar circumstances. Not every act of a nurse that appears to be negligent will make the nurse liable. If the action or inaction of the nurse is typical of what other nurses would have done in the same situation, then the nurse will not be deemed to have violated her duty of care.
What Must Be Proven in a Medical Malpractice Claim?
In a medical malpractice case based on negligence by a nurse, the injured person must establish all of the following:
- the standard of care applicable to the nurse,
- the duty owed by the nurse to the patient,
- demonstration that the nurse violated his or her duty by failing to meet that standard of care, and
- that the patient was injured and prove that the injury resulted from the nurse's negligence.
Winning a Medical Malpractice Case
Medical malpractice claims are very difficult to pursue. Most medical malpractice cases are very expensive because they involve numerous expert medical witnesses and complicated facts. Medical professionals are usually unwilling to admit any errors, and they often have the financial resources to contest any lawsuit. Thus, a medical malpractice lawsuit can be a lengthy and costly ordeal, but a great lawyer can help you to assert your rights in the face of such adversity.
Do You Need an Attorney Experienced with Medical Malpractice?
If you, or a loved one, have been injured by a nurse's medical malpractice, you should speak to a personal injury attorney immediately to learn more about the value of your case and what types of recoveries are available to you. An attorney can help you figure out what actions you should take in response to the malpractice, as well as represent you and your interests in court.