Medical malpractice accusations can be staunchly defended. After all, physicians, who have been trained since college to be right all of the time, do not take kindly to having their expertise questioned. Nevertheless, this is what occurs in a medical malpractice lawsuit.
With the amount of money that can be awarded in medical malpractice suits, and the threat to a physician’s reputation, you can expect that there will be some strong defenses. This post will highlight a few common ones.
Statute of limitations – If a plaintiff does not bring a lawsuit in the amount of time allowed under law, a doctor could argue that an action is “time barred.”
No dereliction in standards – An accused doctor may argue that his or her actions followed the standards of care expected out of a physician with similar training and experience. After all, a medical malpractice plaintiff must prove that a doctor failed to use reasonable care and that such a failure was the proximate cause of their injuries.
Contributory negligence – Another common defense would be based on the notion of contributory negligence. Essentially, a doctor could argue that the patient is just as liable (if not more) for his or her condition because they failed to follow the doctor’s recommendations. Yes, there may have been a mistake in a diagnosis, but patients who do not follow discharge orders, run the risk of contributing to a doctor’s defense.
If you have questions about your rights and options in a medical malpractice suit, an experienced attorney can advise you.