Your Guide to Medical Malpractice Claims: Chapter 4
What Are Typical Medical Malpractice Defenses?
There are a wide variety of medical malpractice defenses. While these may not seem relevant to you, they do demonstrate the importance of working with experienced medical negligence lawyers who are best able to fight for your case.
Malpractice attorneys have experienced similar cases and know what tactics do and don’t work. They also understand and can counter common arguments used by defendants’ attorneys.
Defense attorneys must uphold due process and provide their client with a fair defense. The actions of a defense attorney depend on the unique aspects of each case and legal precedents set forth by previous cases. Defense strategy may involve accepting all blame and responsibility while mitigating damages. Other defenses seek to absolve all responsibility or mitigate only partial responsibility.
Examples of medical malpractice defenses include:
- The Respectable Minority Principle: Certain diseases and medical situations are rarer than others. As such, doctors who work in experimental fields or on cases that do not have specific treatment standards in place or as precedents can be considered exempt from medical malpractice.
- Good Samaritan Laws: Good Samaritan laws protect doctors and other healthcare workers and providers from civil liability if anything goes wrong during an emergency situation to which they attend.
- Contributory Negligence: If a patient acts against a doctor or healthcare professional’s advice, is negligent or fails to notify the doctor of their medical history, the doctor may argue that they are not responsible for the harm that results.
- Statute of Limitations: Statutes of limitations put a cap on the amount of time a patient or a patient’s family has to bring legal action against a healthcare provider.
What Medical Malpractice Defenses Mean for You
You may feel as though the harm done to you by a doctor’s negligence is so obvious the case will rest clearly in your favor. As such, it could be tempting to:
- Take action on your own.
- Accept awards without taking further action.
- Work with a less-experienced malpractice attorney.
Navigating the details and taking legal action on your own is certain to be overwhelming, especially if the hospital, medical provider and other party are working with an experienced defense attorney.
Working with an experienced malpractice attorney allows you the opportunity to understand your case fully and consider all details and facts. Your attorney should be prepared to counter the defenses that may come up during the process and work for your best interests.