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Common defenses to medical malpractice claims

All New Yorkers make mistakes from time-to-time. It is part of being human. The hope is that these mistakes are minor and do not have a major effect on the person who made the mistake or those around them. However, this is not always the case, and sometimes the mistakes cause significant problems to those affected by it. For example, mistakes made by doctors and other medical professionals can change people's lives.

Victims of these errors may be left in a worse emotional, physical, and financial position than when they went to see the doctor in the first place. These victims may be entitled to compensation, though, if they are able to succeed with a medical malpractice lawsuit. These claims are not always the easiest cases to win, as there are many defenses that medical professionals may use to aggressively fight back against the allegations levied against them.

One of the most common defenses to medical malpractice is that the medical care provided met the applicable standard of care for that area of medical practice or that the injuries were not caused by the medical professional's negligence. Another defense is that the victim contributed to the injuries through his or her own actions, meaning that a doctor's negligence was not responsible for the harm suffered. A doctor may also claim that he or she used an uncommon practice, but that a respected minority of the medical community endorses the treatment and the doctor informed the victim of the potential risks associated with pursuing that course of treatment. Doctors may also claim defenses under Good Samaritan laws while assisting someone in an emergency situation.

These are just some of the more common defenses utilized by medical professionals when faced with a negligence claim, but there are many more depending on the specific facts of the case at hand. It is important to understand these defenses because doing so could help ensure that a thorough prepared and aggressively litigated case is put forth. This, in turn, can increase a victim's potential for recovering the compensation he or she deserves.

There are many medical facilities in New York and many medical professionals. From time-to-time these institutions and individuals make mistakes, leaving innocent victims are injured as a result. These victims may be entitled to compensation, but first they must prove certain legal elements, which can be difficult to do when a strong defense is raised. Experienced attorneys understand the complexities of medical malpractice cases and may be a useful resource when it comes to building a strong case.

Source: FindLaw, "Defenses to Medical Malpractice" accessed on April 23, 2018

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