Generally, a medical malpractice claim can be brought against a licensed health care provider. This can include a person, corporation, facility or institution licensed by the state to provide health care or professional services, or an officer, employee, or agent thereof acting in the course and scope of his employment. A claim can be brought against physicians, dentists, nurses, therapists, hospitals, and pharmacists, among others. A physician commits medical malpractice if he fails to act in the same manner a reasonably prudent physician in the same field of medicine would act under the same circumstances. Nurses, therapists and other health care providers, and the hospitals or clinics they work for, can be held responsible for their failure to meet accepted standards of care in their particular field. Depending on the circumstances of the case, a hospital may be held liable for the negligence of their independently contracted physicians. Factors to be considered include whether the hospital negligently granted the physician privileges or directed the physician`s method of treating patients.
There may be more than one cause of an injury. When the negligent conduct of two or more parties contributes concurrently as causes of an injury, liability is apportioned severally based upon each party`s degree of fault. However, if the claimant is without any fault, joint and several liability is imposed on each defendant.
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