On this blog, we focus on the issues that face victims of medical malpractice and how these people can seek justice given the horrible treatment they received at the doctor’s office. However, sometimes it is beneficial to analyze the other side of the issue to have a better understanding of the whole topic. In this regard, today we want to talk about the defenses doctor’s and medical institutions use to combat medical malpractice claims against them.
The first is just standard defense tactics against a negligence claim. Medical malpractice is considered a standard negligence claim, so any defenses to these claims could work. For example, if the patients injuries weren’t caused due to medical error or if the doctor acted within industry guidelines and standards, then a medical malpractice claim could fail.
Contributory negligence is a common defense used in medical malpractice claims. This defense alleges that the patient had something to do with the injuries he or she suffered. Maybe they didn’t take the appropriate dosage of their medicine, or they acted in a way that aggravated their wound or injury that a doctor warned them about. In such cases, the patient “contributed” to the injury, and it could allow the doctor or medical institution to get away scot-free.
Another defense, but a rarer one, is the Good Samaritan defense. This is where an off duty medical professional treats someone in an emergency situation. In these cases, the medical professional is often protected from liability by state law.
Source: FindLaw, “Defenses to Medical Malpractice,” Accessed Sept. 1, 2017