Each and every day, thousands of individuals throughout the country enter a hospital or care center trusting that the staff is qualified and attentive enough to treat them for their ailments. However, too often admission to a hospital results in further injury or death due to actionable malpractice on the part of the nursing staff. A potential nursing malpractice suit has four components a court will have to consider to determine if malpractice has, indeed, occurred.
A nursing staff is bound by its “duty” to a patient. This can be defined broadly, but generally applies to the scope of a nurse’s employment, often with regard to providing basic care, maintaining a safe environment, and interpreting and following a physician’s orders.
In the event of actionable nursing malpractice, the plaintiff will face the burden of demonstrating a “breach of duty” by a nurse. There are numerous ways that a nurse may breach his or her duty to a patient, such as failing to provide a safe environment or follow established sanitation procedures, or by delaying care for an unreasonable amount of time.
The plaintiff will also have the burden of demonstrating that damages were sustained. If, for instance, a nurse provides very poor care or does not follow safety procedures, but there are no damages sustained by the plaintiff, malpractice may be difficult to prove.
Causation is the final component of a nursing malpractice suit. Assuming all other factors have been satisfied, the plaintiff must still prove causation in the injuries suffered. In the case of a patient who falls out of bed and breaks a limb, it must be demonstrated that it was by some negligence or poor choice on the part of a nurse that the patient fell from the bed.
Any time individuals are injured more by a visit to a hospital to which they went in order to be healed, they deserve to have their case considered thoroughly. The representation of a legal professional can help ensure that the case is given careful consideration and guide the injured parties to fair resolutions.