Who Can Be The Target Of A Medical Malpractice Claim Or Suit?

Law Blog

Modern medicine often presents a challenge to people who are pursuing malpractice claims. So many practices, organizations, and professionals are typically involved in care that you can have a hard time determining who a claim or lawsuit should target.

Before you file a claim, you'll want to know you're looking at the right parties. Let's explore who you may be able to take action against and how a medical malpractice lawyer is likely to handle the problem.

Involvement with Care

Virtually anyone who was assigned some element of your care is a potential defendant. While this can create a challenge in terms of finding the at-fault party, it does provide a target-rich environment for a medical malpractice lawyer. If an attorney is trying to cast as wide of a net as possible, they can look at doctors, nurses, pharmacists, medical technicians, and so on.

Also, institutions may be liable. Hospitals, clinics, and practices are all possible defendants.


In medical malpractice law, there is a component of the medical professional accepting responsibility for providing care. However, this doesn't limit the malpractice claim to the specific doctor. The law recognizes the wide circle around any patient in the modern care environment.

Suppose you go to your general practitioner, and they draw blood for tests. Maybe the GP does everything perfectly but the testing company commits serious negligence. You may have never signed anything with the testing firm, but they're still potentially responsible. Your GP assigned the work to the testers, and the firm has a responsibility to handle the job with appropriate care.

Not It

The downside to this wide circle of care around patients is everyone will say, "Not it!" If a hospital can let an independent lab tech take the hit, they will. Nobody wants to have their malpractice insurance premiums increase.

This means a medical malpractice lawyer has to be prepared to dig. They're going to demand the production of documents showing who authorized and did what, when it happened, and what became of it. Medical malpractice claims in complex environments are often documentation-heavy. A lawyer will want to see every signature, equipment log, and hiring record.

When there is resistance, an attorney may have to threaten a lawsuit. If the threat doesn't make the point and lead to the discovery of evidence, a law firm may have to follow through on suing. No matter how it plays out, a medical malpractice lawyer will work hard to figure out who ought to be the liable party.


8 November 2021