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Court divided on medical malpractice issue

Hawaii medical patients often find themselves in need of care that includes prescription drugs. In certain situations, those consuming medications are advised against operating motor vehicles because of the potential effects the medication can have on their ability to drive. A recent incident occurred that has left a court in another state divided as to whether doctors can be held liable for medical malpractice in the aftermath of a collision that caused personal injury.

A bus driver was injured in a motor vehicle crash with another car driven by a woman who had allegedly taken prescription medication before getting behind the wheel. Apparently, the woman had been given narcotics intravenously at a nearby hospital approximately two hours before the accident occurred. The legal claim filed by the injured bus driver states that medical professionals failed to advise the woman against driving under the influence of the medication.

The woman's vehicle reportedly cross the center line of traffic, resulting in a collision with the bus driver's vehicle. The lawsuit filed by the bus driver has resulted in an ongoing debate in the Court of Appeals as to whether medical liability extends to third parties when an apparent failure to warn a patient has resulted in a car accident. Two dissenters have stated that a doctor's legal obligation is limited to the patient. 

In Hawaii and throughout the United States, those facing similar issues involving possible medical malpractice can seek legal counsel by contacting an experienced attorney in the area. A legal advocate would be able to investigate the details of a particular incident in order to help identify all possible sources of liability and offer guidance as to how best to proceed in filing a legal claim in a civil court. A first logical step to take in the process would be to schedule a consultation seeking an evaluation of one's specific situation.

Source: kentucky.com, "NY court reinstates medical malpractice suit in car crash", Dec. 17, 2015

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