If while under my care as a medical transport hourly employee, an elderly woman rolled off the gurney because we had failed to strap her in, can I be held personally liable?

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If while under my care as a medical transport hourly employee, an elderly woman rolled off the gurney because we had failed to strap her in, can I be held personally liable?

Asked on October 24, 2012 under Malpractice Law, Virginia

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You won't be held personally liable.  Your employer will be held liable because an employer is liable for the negligence of an employee that occurs in the course and scope of employment.

The case may be settled with your employer's insurance carrier when the patient completes her treatment for the injuries she sustained when falling off the gurney.  Compensation for her medical bills is straight reimbursement.  Compensation for pain and suffering is an amount in addition to the medical bills based on the medical reports which document the nature and extent of the injury.

If the case is settled with your employer's insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.  If the case is NOT settled with your employer's insurance carrier, a lawsuit for negligence will be filed against your employer.  Although you may be named as a defendant in that lawsuit along with your employer, your employer will be held personally liable.  Your employer's insurance carrier will provide an attorney at no cost to handle the case.

If the case is NOT settled with your employer's insurance carrier, and the injured party does not file a lawsuit prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations, she will lose her rights in the matter forever.


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