Medical Malpractice FAQ

I was injured because a nurse gave me the wrong drug. Who can I sue?

Nursing malpractice happens when a nurse does not fulfill duties in a way that a normally competent nurse in the same situation would -- and that negligence injures the patient. As in medical malpractice, however, not every mistake or mishap rises to the level of negligence.

If a nurse commits malpractice while caring for a patient, hospitals are often (but not always) on the hook. A hospital may be legally and financially responsible for a nurse's negligence if:

  • the nurse was an employee of the hospital
  • the nurse was fulfilling a job duty when the patient was injured, and
  • a non-employee doctor did not maintain proper control over the nurse.

An attending doctor may also be responsible for the nurse's actions if:

  • the doctor was present, and
  • the doctor had control to prevent the nurse's negligence.

To learn more about what types of actions constitute nursing negligence, and when the hospital or attending doctor is responsible, see Nolo's article Nursing Malpractice.

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