The filing of a medical malpractice lawsuit doesn’t necessarily mean that a plaintiff will win his case. There are many tips a health care practitioner or facility may use to mount a medical malpractice defense. Among the best are those that recommend choosing an experienced attorney with a good reputation. Other tips include demonstrating that the patient knew the risks of a treatment or procedure or proving that the injury the plaintiff suffered was not due to the negligence of the defendant. Additionally, many helpful tips focus on demonstrating that the plaintiff in a case contributed to or caused his own injury.
One of the best tips for a medical malpractice defense is choosing the right attorney. With a medical malpractice lawsuit, there is usually more than money at stake. A practitioner’s or facility’s reputation may be on the line as well. As such, it is usually critical to choose an attorney who has experience dealing with malpractice lawsuits and a reputation for winning them.
Another important tip for a medical malpractice defense is to avoid concentrating on the plaintiff's injury. Instead, a defendant in a malpractice case may be better served by working to prove that the health care practitioner’s actions were not at fault for the injury. For example, if a plaintiff suffers an infection after a medical procedure or surgery, he may choose to sue his doctor for medical malpractice. In such a case, he may state that the doctor failed to wash his hands before caring for him or used unsterilized equipment. Instead of preparing arguments about the plaintiff's infection, however, the defendant may attempt to prove that he did follow the correct procedures and therefore is not at fault.
A defendant in a malpractice case may also use informed consent as a malpractice defense. For example, if a doctor informs his patient of the risks of a procedure or treatment, the patient may be unable to win a malpractice case against him later. This is due to the fact that the patient was informed, usually in writing, of the risks and had an opportunity to refuse the procedure. This defense may only work, however, if the injury the patient suffered was caused by issues that are common to the procedure rather than the mistakes or negligence of the doctor.
Many tips for a medical malpractice defense involve using the patient's mistakes or omissions against him. For example, if a patient fails to give pertinent medical history information to his doctor, this may provide a defense the doctor can use. Likewise, if the patient fails to follow the doctor’s instructions, the fault for an injury may be the patients rather than the doctors. Additionally, in some cases, a doctor may even claim that the patient’s actions after the supposed incident of medical malpractice contributed to his injury and confused the link between the doctor’s care and the patient’s injury.