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Who Is Liable For Nursing Errors In Florida?


Nurses play an important role with patient care in hospitals and clinical settings, so questions often arise about liability and potential parties in medical malpractice claims. Under Florida’s Nurse Practice Act, there are different standards of care depending on the license the nursing professional holds and related details. Generally, the applicable standard is based upon the nurse’s education and experience in the profession.

When a nurse deviates from the standard of care that applies to the situation, there may be multiple parties to pursue. This is to your advantage if you were hurt or lost a loved one due to nursing error, especially when your losses are significant. At the same time, dealing with numerous parties can be complicated, making it critical to retain a Miami nursing errors attorney. You can also benefit from reviewing some basics about the laws.

 Examples of Nursing Mistakes 

The most common nursing error involves issues with medication administration. Problems occur with the wrong dose, route, type of drug, timing, or other mistakes. In addition, patient harm can result from:

  • Falls, when nurses do not properly monitor patients and assist those that need help in and out of bed
  • Injuries with equipment, such as a catheter, central line, IVs, and other devices
  • Failure to take action when necessary to address a sudden emergency
  • Not informing physicians about key changes in the patient’s medical condition

 Hospital Liability for Nursing Errors 

The facility’s liability is based upon the employment relationship between the nurse and hospital. When the nurse is an employee who was performing job-related tasks at the time the patient was hurt, the facility could be held accountable. The specific employment status of the individual is critical, because a nurse could be an independent contractor or work through a separate agency.

Another important distinction is whether the nurse was acting under the orders of an independent physician who is not an employee of the facility, as described below.

Attending Physician 

A hospital may NOT be liable for nursing errors when an independent doctor directs the nurse in performing tasks. The key is whether the physician is considered to be supervising the nurse, which turns on whether:

  • The physician was present when the error occurred
  • The doctor was in a position to prevent the nursing mistake

Keep in mind that the number of physicians who are employees of health care organizations is on the rise. When a nurse makes a mistake under the supervision of an employee-doctor, the claim for liability may revert back to the hospital.

 Our Florida Nursing Errors Lawyers Will Advise You on Legal Options 

You may be entitled to compensation for your medical costs, pain and suffering, and other losses after being harmed because of a nursing mistake. Freidin Brown, P.A. is prepared to pursue all potential parties, as our firm specifically focuses on medical malpractice law. To learn more about the process, please contact our offices in Miami or Fort Myers, FL. We are happy to set up a free case review to discuss the details of your case.


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