What are Common Defenses Against Medical Malpractice?

When medical professionals are facing accusations of malpractice, it can be a frightening time in their life. This is because it can put their career in jeopardy. It is because of this that those facing these situations should hire an experienced New York medical defense attorney to fight for their livelihood. 

What Qualifies as Medical Malpractice?

When a medical professional violates the standard of care they are required to provide patients, it is known as medical malpractice. The following are some examples:

  • Failure to diagnose or misdiagnoses
  • Anesthesia errors
  • Failure to order proper testing
  • Failure to recognize symptoms
  • Misreading or ignoring laboratory results
  • Unnecessary surgery
  • Premature discharge
  • Hospital infections
  • Surgical errors 
  • Wrong-site surgery
  • Improper medication or dosage
  • Poor follow-up or aftercare

What are Defenses to Malpractice Claims?

Medical malpractice is a form of negligence, which means that a common defense against these claims is to disprove negligence took place. In addition to this, there are other possible defenses in these cases:

  • Contributory Negligence: If a doctor can prove that the patient would not have sustained the injury in question if it weren’t for their own negligence. This may be if a patient does not disclose key elements of their medical condition or history and sustained harm as a result.
  • Respectable Minority Principle: If a doctor felt a more drastic or radical form of treatment was needed for a patient and a patient was injured in the process, it may call for a malpractice claim. However, if a respectable minority of medical professionals supported the line of treatment, this may be a defense against it. While this is true, professionals should always talk to patients and inform them of risks before performing any treatments.  
  • Good Samaritan Laws: If a doctor comes to a person’s aid in an emergency, they can be protected in the event of an injury during the rescue.
  • Statute of Limitations: There is a time limit on when an action can be brought a lawsuit. In New York, the deadline for medical malpractice claims is three years. If it can be proven that a patient discovered their injury after that statute of limitations has passed, the case may be dismissed.

Contact our Firm

When a medical professional is accused of misconduct, it is essential that they retain strong legal representation. If you require a medical law attorney for your legal matters, call Paul E. Walker, an experienced New York City OPMC & OPD Lawyer. Please contact the Walker Medical Law firm to set up a free initial consultation.