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Hospitals can be held liable for surgical mistakes

Arizona patients who have ever heard credible stories, as reported by other authorities, detailing the story arcs of patients who discovered that a surgeon or doctor had left medical debris inside of them during a previous surgery, may be shocked and even frightened by such medical horror stories. However, it may interest them to know that many victims of these terrible medical errors have taken legal action in the form of a medical malpractice suit.

In most cases, attorneys representing medical victims have little issue identifying the parties to be named as defendants. However, if the name of the doctor or surgeon is not known, finding who exactly was responsible for a medical mistake can be difficult. In these cases, patients may be eligible to file the lawsuit against the hospital, citing vicarious liability.

Under the legal principle of “respondeat superior,” employers should expect to be held vicariously superior for the actions their employees betray during the course of work. For example, patients who cannot identify their doctor and so wish to hold the hospital vicariously liable may have the principle shot down if the hospital can show that the doctor was working off the clock or that the company did not benefit financially from the procedure that was being performed.

While the hospital is the most common defendant to be held vicariously liable, there are others parties that can also be named as defendants. Medical malpractice attorneys usually find the opportunity to distinguish themselves during issues that are difficult to grasp on account of their medical roots yet legal jargon. Seeking such an attorney would be vital for patients considering legal remedies for the harm done to their bodies by medical mistake.

Source: FindLaw, “Vicarious Liability “, January 05, 2015

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