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Medical Assistants Can, Have and Will Be Sued


Under the USA laws and policies any person who believes that they have a case can initiate a law suit against anybody, even if the accused is completely innocent, this also includes medical assistants who work under their doctor's umbrella. It can cost the accused medical assistant thousands of dollars in legal fees to defend this innocence. For instance, if a medical assistant gives an injection and accidentally hits a nerve the patient may sue for pain and losses caused by the accident (for example, cost of medical treatment, or lost income during time off work) even if they could have continued working and just gave it some time to heal. There are still too many medical assistants who falsely believe that only the doctor will be held responsible for such incidences. Nothing could be further from the truth! Since malpractice is defined as "the negligent act of a person with specialized training and education" it clearly includes medical assistants, especially those who are certified. Certified medical assistants are often held to a higher standard than their non-certified peers.

Medical Assistant Charged with 10 Felonies


A medical assistant was arrested in 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada for administering Botox treatments while under the direction of a doctor. She was under the impression that she was simply doing what all medical assistants do and it never crossed her mind that she may be practicing outside her scope of practice as legislated by the Nevada State Board of Medical Examiners. The state of Nevada Medical Board took the position that their law prohibits medical assistants from administering any kind of medications, this includes giving injections. While the restriction had largely gone unenforced it wasn't until this medical assistant's arrest on 10 felony counts on allegations of "unlawful practice of medicine" received media attention. Now the Nevada

An unsuspecting medical assistant's whole world came to a crashing halt when she was arrested and charged, however, as this case progressed it took a massive and surprising turn on October 14th, 2009. The medical assistant's nightmare was over. The 45-year-old former medical assistant learned from her attorney that the 10 felony counts against her on allegations of “unlawful practice of medicine” were to be dismissed. Initially the Nevada medical board director Louis Ling said that upon reading a 30-year-old law, he concluded that medical assistants in his state could not give any shots. Then, spurred by this case and an initiative by the Nevada state governor, the State Medical board reversed its position, determining that state law allows medical assistants to administer everything from flu shots to Botox as long as they are under the “direct supervision” of a physician; meaning the doctor is on the premises. Read: Nevada State Medical Board: The Law at Issue, Medical Assistants and Prescription Drugs.

Medical assistants should carry their own professional malpractice and liability insurance policy which often is provided at a group rate by  certification organizations as part of their professional membership benefits.
Please Note: the information contained on this page is provided for information purposes only and should not be considered legal advice, nor is it a substitute or interpretation of regulations established by authorities having jurisdiction over practicing doctors, nurses and their medical assistants in your state. Please contact your State Board of Medical Examiners directly for specific advice, official business, or consult with your attorney. We cannot provide this information to you.

Can Medical Assistants be Sued?

It is NOT TRUE that Medical Assistants cannot be sued! Many medical assistants are under the impression
that when there are no specific laws that govern them then there are no liabilities. Nothing could be further from
the truth.  Anybody can sue anyone and when the economy is tough, these kinds of law suits tend to go up in
hopes of financial gain. While many state laws don't specify exactly which duties medical assistants can
perform anything they do that goes above and beyond basic low level tasks can be questioned in court. Should
a lawsuit ensue the medical assistant can also be named in this suit, along with the doctor. Listen in as Gerry
Oginski, an experienced medical malpractice, wrongful death and personal injury lawyer in and around the New
York City vicinity explains:
Although medical assistants are working under the umbrella of the physician who hired them, it does not exonerate them from direct liability, nor protect them from being sued. Any medical assistant who inadvertently oversteps their boundaries, or does anything that constitutes practicing medicine without a license exposes her/himself to a possible lawsuit. This could end in a civil fine of thousands of dollars per violation and almost always include other penalties and consequences.