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Hold the right parties accountable for medical malpractice

When one visits a health care facility because they are sick or injured, a team of professionals assists them. Doctors, nurses, surgeons and anesthesiologists all work together to provide patients with the medical care they need. Unfortunately, this means that if an instance of negligence occurs, it may be the fault of more than one party or it may be the fault of the health care facility as a whole.

After all, health care facilities must make sure there are enough nurses and doctors on staff to meet the needs of all the patients. Health care facilities are also responsible for hiring competent employees. People in Illinois who have suffered from an act of medical negligence may want to know whom they can sue for medical malpractice.

Of course, the individual medical professional that acted negligently may be one party to a lawsuit. In some cases though, it may be possible to hold the health care facility where that medical professional worked responsible as well. This is done via a legal concept known as "respondeat superior." Under this concept, an employer can face liability for its employee's negligence, if the employee's act of negligence occurred within the scope of their employment.

There is an exception, however. Sometimes, doctors, nurses and other health care professionals are not actually employees of the health care facility. Instead, they are hired as an independent contractor. In this situation, respondeat superior will not apply. Therefore, although the negligent health care professional may be held liable, the health care facility cannot.

In the end, determining whether respondeat superior applies can be difficult, and this post cannot serve as the basis for a medical malpractice lawsuit. Illinois residents wondering whether they can file a medical malpractice lawsuit against a health care facility may want to seek the advice of an attorney, who can help them make an informed decision.

Source: FindLaw.com, "Medical Malpractice: Who Can Be Sued?," accessed on Dec. 4, 2016

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