Defenses To Expect When Pursuing A Medical Malpractice Case

If you have a medical malpractice case, the defendant won't just roll over and hand you the compensation check. No one wants to admit liability to medical negligence, so expect the defendant to put up a spirited defense. Here are some of the common defenses medical professionals use when accused of negligence:

Respectable Minority Defense

In most cases of medical malpractice, the defendant's actions are compared to standard care that other doctors would have given under the same circumstances. This presents a problem in situations where a doctor tried a radical (nonstandard) treatment that then goes awry.

For this reason, some states have enacted the respectable minority principle. This principle holds that it is not medical malpractice when a radical treatment, which a respectable majority of doctors supports, goes awry. Of course, this is only true if the doctor had an informed consent of the patient to try the radical treatment.

Patient Negligence

Another common defense is where the doctor argues that it is not their actions, but rather the patient's actions, that caused the health complications the patients is seeking damages for. This is based on comparative or contributory negligence, which holds that an injury victim may have their damages reduced or denied in case they did something to cause or contribute to their injuries. For example, the defendant may argue that you suffered your injuries because you did not follow their instructions.

Good Samaritan Laws

Good Samaritan Laws have been enacted to encourage passersby to help people in need. The theory is that a passerby is likely to help an injured person if there is no threat of a lawsuit hanging over them in case something goes wrong. In some places, medical professionals are also subject to Good Samaritan laws. Therefore, if the doctor you are suing wasn't your regular doctor but only volunteered to help you in an emergency, they may invoke the Good Samaritan laws to defend themselves.

No Causal Relationship

In this case, the defendant argues that even though they made a mistake, the mistake they made didn't lead to your injuries. This defense, if proven, can get the doctor off the hook because you only deserve medical malpractice compensation if the defendant's actions cause you actual injuries. You don't deserve compensation just because a doctor made a mistake. For example, you don't have a medical malpractice case if a doctor gives you the wrong drug but the drug doesn't cause you any dangerous side effects.

Contact a legal firm, like the Law Office of Anica Blazef-Horner, for more help.