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What are some common medical malpractice defenses?

Advances in medical technologies and treatments have truly reshaped today's health care industry. Many New Yorkers who may have once been left without any diagnosis and treatment options might now be able to have their pain reduced or eliminated, and their medical condition slowed or completely cured. Yet, an efficient and effective medical diagnosis and treatment is dependent upon a medical professional's competency. When a doctor fails to properly diagnose a medical condition, or commits a surgical error, medication mistake or some other form of negligence, then a victim may be left with significant damages.

Fortunately, those who have been harmed by a medical professional's negligence may be able to seek compensation via a medical malpractice lawsuit. The claims are oftentimes aggressively challenged though, primarily because the compensation sought can be significant, and because doctors, nurses and the hospitals at which they work can have extensive resources to support their defense.

To defend themselves, those accused of medical malpractice have a few options. First, they may try to claim that the victim himself was negligent, and that negligence caused the victim's harm. An example of this would be if a patient failed to disclose pertinent medical history and a doctor's lack of knowledge of that medical condition led to the injurious incident. Second, a medical professional may rely on the respectable minority principle, whereby they pursue a treatment method that is outside of the mainstream methods but is supported by a respectable minority of medical professionals. In order to successfully pursue this defense, though, the medical professional must still show that he or she obtained informed consent before undertaking said treatment.

A successful medical malpractice claim may bring a victim much needed compensation to help cover medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. However, those considering legal action against a medical professional and the hospital at which he or she works needs to be prepared to combat an aggressive defense. New York medical malpractice attorneys stand ready to help these individuals craft legal arguments that support them in their fight for the compensation they need and deserve.

Source: FindLaw, "Defenses to Medical Malpractice," accessed on March 4, 2017

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