When we check into a hospital, we expect nurses and doctors to address our health care needs carefully and professionally. We do not expect to leave in worse condition than we arrived in. Unfortunately, medical mistakes happen every day – ranging from adverse medication reactions to deadly surgical errors. When a health care practitioner negligently causes an injury or wrongful death, the victim or victim’s family may hold someone legally responsible.

Types of Medical Mistakes

The law tells us that we can expect the highest standard of care in the hands of health care practitioners, but they make human errors just like the rest of the population. The important distinction when it comes to medical malpractice cases is whether the doctor could have reasonably avoided the mistake. Not all medical injuries are the result of someone’s negligence – many accidents occur despite a doctor’s best efforts. However, when a doctor is negligent in his or her duties, the courts can hold him or her responsible for resultant injuries.

Medical mistakes are the things of nightmares. They can range from leaving surgical instruments inside a patient after surgery to treating a patient for the wrong condition. Different types of medical mistakes include:

When a West Virginia health care practitioner makes any of these mistakes due to negligence, the victim can sue the practitioner and potentially the hospital for subsequent medical bills, lost wages, lost earning capacity, pain and suffering, and emotional distress.

Who Is Responsible for Medical Mistakes?

The question of who is responsible for medical mistakes has many different answers depending on the situation. A patient’s fate rests in the hands of many different practitioners throughout his or her time in a hospital, from drug manufacturing companies to nurses and maintenance staff. Depending on the source of the negligence, a patient can sue one or multiple defendants for medical mistakes.

Determining the source of the error is the first step in a medical malpractice case. In instances of misdiagnosis or surgical error, it is easy to determine the source. Other times, practitioners follow the right procedures but things still go wrong. In these cases, it can be difficult to tell if the accident was avoidable or not. Some hospitals have insurance policies that cover medical mistakes and will provide follow-up care, but this is not typical.

When the courts find a hospital at fault for medical mistakes, you can sue the entire establishment. You can also sue a hospital for the negligence of its staff – including nurses, maintenance employees, and some doctors. The courts hold public and private hospitals responsible for the actions of their employees, which includes negligence. Most doctors, however, are independent contractors. If a contracted doctor caused your injury, you can sue him or her as an individual, but not the hospital (unless the facility also played a part in your injury).

If you are covered under Medicare, federal law states that hospitals must cover the costs for care due to certain medical errors. In many cases, the patient may have to pay for costs themselves – or file a case or lawsuit against the hospital for malpractice. Medical malpractice cases can be long and complex. You need an expert local Charleston medical malpractice lawyer if you intend on suing a West Virginia doctor or hospital for medical mistakes.

Your Charleston, WV Medical Malpractice Attorneys

At Tiano O’Dell, PLLC, seeking justice for your medical mistake injury is our priority. We have offered our legal services to hundreds of wronged patients over the years, obtaining compensation for injuries a health care practitioner’s negligence caused. For help with your medical malpractice case, call (304) 720-6700 today.



Who pays for medical mistakes?