What is professional negligence?

When a professional such as a doctor, nurse, architect, engineer, attorney, dentist or other professional fails to act within the standards of his or her profession and commits some act which causes damage to the public or to their client then that person may be held liable for the injury or damage incurred.

Can a corporation commit professional negligence?

Yes. A corporation which holds itself out to a particular standard is liable for its failure to act within that standard. A corporation can only act through its employees and thus the failure of the employees to perform their functions within the standards required by the profession constitutes negligence.

How do you prove a case of professional negligence?

In most cases you will need the testimony of a professional who practices the same trade or profession to say that the professional deviated from the standards of the profession. As to some professionals, such as doctors, you will need the opinion of a like professional before you ever file a suit against the professional. In medical cases this is a prerequisite to filing a suit and if you fail to obtain such an opinion your case can be and likely will be dismissed. Your attorney can guide you through this process and assist you in obtaining such an opinion. The expert or professional that you consult to determine if you have a case will generally charge a fee for reviewing documents and rendering such opinions. For these reasons and many more reasons such cases are very expensive and you should be aware of this before you embark upon a suit, even if it has merit.

What are some categories of professionals who may commit professional negligence?

Professional negligence may include but is not limited to the following professions: architects, certified nursing assistants, certified public accountants, dentists, doctors, emergency medical technicians, engineers, financial advisors, group homes, hospitals, lawyers, nurses, nursing homes, optometrists, paralegals, pharmacists, physicians assistants, stock brokers, etc.

Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice is the result of a healthcare provider’s failure to provide the expected standard of care to a patient. The expected standard of care means that a healthcare provider must use the same degree of skill and learning, under the same or similar circumstances, that are used by other members of the medical profession in the locality of the treatment that you or your loved ones received. Unfortunately, some doctors cause harm through their mistakes, ignorance, negligence, lack of skill and misdiagnosis. A medical provider, however, is not an insurer of a good result and as long as their actions do not fall below the standard of care for the community then they will not be liable for a bad result. If, however, they do fail in that standard they can be held liable.

Nursing Home Neglect

There is a growing crisis in the care of our increasingly elderly population. The realities of modern life are such that people rely more and more on nursing homes and assisted living facilities for the care of elderly parents or grandparents. Since Any facility receiving Medicare or Medicaid funds must comply with government regulations, which provide for minimum standards for the care of residents. Many of these regulations are set out by the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) and are administered by the states. One of the purposes of these regulations is to minimize abuse and neglect of nursing home residents. Despite these requirements, substandard care of residents is an increasing problem.
As a result, too often these residents do not receive the level of care they require. Those who need assistance with activities of daily living (ADL), such as feeding, bathing, toileting, etc., are not receiving adequate care, resulting in decubitus ulcers, malnutrition or even death. Lack of supervision results in falls and injuries. Often, injuries go unrecognized and untreated. For these reasons it is important to thoroughly investigate a nursing home, rehab center or home health company before you entrust your loved ones to their care.
Neglect and abuse of helpless elderly people is a serious and growing problem. To see if the resident has a possible personal injury claim or if there is a claim for wrongful death, you should feel free to contact an attorney who will explain the factors to be considered in deciding whether to make a claim.