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What are some common defenses to medical malpractice?

If you follow this blog, then you probably know that when medical care goes wrong you can be seriously injured. It can drastically affect your life and the lives of your loved ones. You might lose physical abilities, emotional happiness and financial resources. Luckily, you might be able to recover compensation for these losses, but it often requires legal action. Though you and your attorney may be able to put forth a strong legal claim, it may be just as important to be familiar with some common medical malpractice defenses so that you know how to counter them.

First, a medical professional may claim that he or she was not in fact negligent. In these situations, he or she will likely put forth evidence in an attempt to show that he or she acted in accordance with the applicable standard of care. The medical professional being sued may also attempt to claim that the victim's injuries were not caused by a hospital mistake.

Second, a doctor or nurse may try to shift the blame to the patient utilizing a legal theory known as contributory negligence. If the defendant can satisfactorily show that the victim's injuries would not have occurred if the patient himself or herself were not negligent, then the defendant may dodge any liability.

Third, a medical professional may be shielded by Good Samaritan laws. These laws seek to protect individuals who come to the aid of another during an emergency. Yet, it is important to note that many instances of medical malpractice occur when a doctor has voluntarily assumed care of a patient. When this is the case, the doctor must live up to the applicable standard of care or else be held liable for any harm caused.

This is by no means a complete list of medical malpractice defenses, but may help you think about your claim. If you need further assistance, as is typical in most hospital negligence cases, it is advisable to speak with a local Florida attorney.

Source: FindLaw, "Defenses to Medical Malpractice," accessed on Oct. 31 2014

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