Image of a doctor talking to a patient representing medical malpractice.

Medical Malpractice: Who Commits It?

Medical malpractice is a common fear of many in the medical profession. While the line between what is and isn’t medical malpractice can be hazy, who can commit malpractice is also worth examining.

Health Care Providers

The most obvious answer to who can commit malpractice is people practicing medicine on a patient. Health care professionals who can be accused of malpractice include:

  • Medical doctors
  • Nurses
  • Anesthesiologists
  • Surgeons

In short, anyone who came into contact with the patient and harmed them is liable. This personal responsibility may include failing to diagnose, treat, or act on an illness or medical condition that is affecting the patient. 


Hospitals are a legal entity and they can be either directly or indirectly responsible for committing medical malpractice. If the hospital itself is neglectful, they have directly committed medical malpractice. If an employee is negligent, the hospital may be indirectly found responsible for the malpractice. 

A hospital can be directly negligent if it hires an employee but fails to properly conduct a background check on an applicant’s qualifications. A hospital is also negligent if it allows an attending physician to practice without checking them beforehand or if it allows a doctor to practice when the hospital knows or should have known that the doctor was not competent. 

If a patient is injured as a result of the hospital’s negligence, then the hospital can be found liable for medical malpractice. Additionally, if a hospital employee acts negligently, they can also be found liable for malpractice as the superior of that employee.

Pharmaceutical Companies

In some special cases, pharmaceutical companies can be found liable for committing medical malpractice. While they are typically shielded from liability by their relationship with physicians, if the manufacturer does not adequately inform the physician of the side effects or other aspects of the medication, they may be liable for malpractice. 

If you have suffered a medical injury that you believe is due to malpractice, you will need an experienced medical malpractice attorney to help you pursue your case. The best way to find an experienced medical malpractice attorney in your area is with Attorney at Law.

At AAL, our nationwide network of law firms and attorneys ensures that we can match you with the best attorney for your case in your area. Our partner firms are carefully selected based on a number of factors including:

  • Winning record
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At AAL, we understand that filing a lawsuit is stressful, so we partner with firms who take the stress out of the equation. Don’t wait. Contact AAL today for a free, no-obligation consultation and begin your journey to recovery.

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