Medical conditions, treatments and surgeries can be some of the most complicated topics Pittsburgh residents may come across in their lifetime. There is a reason that doctors earn so much; it’s because they are the experts when it comes to the human body and how to treat it. Sometimes, despite a medical professional’s best intentions, there is an error that can have negative implications on a patient’s life. Aspects of legal recourse can sometimes seem similarly complicated as topics related to medical care.
One of these legal topics related to medical malpractice claims is respondeat superior. What is this and how does it relate to seeking compensation for a medical malpractice claim? Under respondeat superior, an employer (such as a hospital) may be held liable for the negligent acts of its employee (doctor, medical staff) if the employee was acting within the scope of his or her employment (performing surgery, etc) when the negligence occurred. This doctrine is very important to injured parties in medical malpractice cases.
Sometimes others beside the doctor and the hospital can also be held liable. The more people that are held accountable for a medical-malpractice claim, the more likely an injured party is to receive adequate compensation. For those whose reality is a lesser quality of life and a pile of medical bills because of another’s negligence, this is great news.
While respondeat superior is not an applicable theory for all medical malpractice claims, it can be a difference maker for some. Whatever the scenario, injured patient’s have legal options. It just takes a bit of time and effort to assess an injured person’s situation to determine the best approach for their situation. The potential compensation that can be acquired by an injured party is well worth the effort and can make a huge difference in a family’s life.
Source: injury.findlaw.com, “Medical Malpractice In-Depth,” Accessed Jan. 18, 2016