Nurses are often viewed as secondary to doctors, and considered to have fewer “critical” duties to perform when it comes to patients. The truth is the day to day jobs of nurses can be considered just as important as that of any other medical professional and their duties equally as crucial to the wellbeing of the patient. Of course, inevitably this level of care and importance also brings with it cases of nurse malpractice.
So what constitutes nurse malpractice? As with any other form of medical malpractice, there must be four elements present in order for there to be a legitimate case:
- Standard of Care – just as doctors are expected to provide their patients with a high level of care in their treatment, nurses are also held to a certain standard of care. If nurse malpractice is to be proven successfully, it must be shown that the defendant did not act with the same or similar level of care that another nurse would if given the same situation.
- Duty – pretty straightforward – nurses are expected to provide attention and care to the patients they are treating, and this must be proven as their “duty”.
- Legal Causation – it must be proven by the plaintiff that had the proper standard of care been provided, and the duty been upheld, there would have been no injury caused. Keep in mind that this is often the most difficult element to successfully prove.
- Damages – if nurse malpractice has occurred, it must also be proven that the plaintiff suffered subsequent financial, physical and emotional damages. If there are no damages, there is no case.
Have you suffered at the hands of a negligent nurse? Do you feel that your case meets all four elements listed above? Do you want to seek justice for your injuries and punish the guilty party for their actions? Contact an attorney who specializes in cases of nurse malpractice today and find out what your rights are and how to fight for them.