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Can someone besides my doctor be responsible for medical injury?

When the majority of people think of medical malpractice, they think of a doctor performing a surgery inaccurately and thus causing serious and unnecessary injury to their patient. While it is true that this is an example of a medical malpractice case, there are many other ways that medical malpractice can occur. This is due to the range of parties involved in medical care today. It is also due to the range of treatments and advice a doctor or other medical professional may suggest that could lead to injury.

Doctors are always the first party that people think of when they are injured by inadequate medical care. This is a great place to start, however, there are many more parties one should be aware of that may have played a hand in your medical mistake. For example, medical device companies have been found negligent in cases where their machines malfunctioned or were not properly cleaned, thus causing injury. Also, rehabilitative care facilities owe a duty of care to their patients that are not always met and that can result in injury.

In short, there could be multiple parties that are responsible for medical injury. Understanding that this fact changes the game entirely is important since anyone potentially liable should be held responsible after a medical mistake caused personal injury. Keep in mind that inaction, such as failure to diagnose, is a serious issue and a failure on a medical professional's behalf to diagnose an otherwise treatable disease is medical malpractice in itself. It isn't always the action of the medical professional, but their inaction, that could directly result in personal injury.

While your doctor or other medical parties may not have intentionally caused harm, the result may have been the same either way. That's why medical professionals, staff, equipment and facilities can be held to a duty of care. They owe to their patients to perform a certain way. When that is breached, and it causes injury, there are many places to look for reparation.

Source:, "Medical Malpractice: Who Can Be Sued?" Accessed December 26, 2016

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