There are plenty of times when patients believe they’ve been victimized by their medical providers, even though the medical provider couldn’t have known that anything would go wrong. A patient may have failed to inform the provider about a medication they were on or lied about using a substance that they weren’t supposed to have before a surgery.
In other cases, there’s simply no way to predict how a patient will react to new medications or treatments. Perhaps a patient is allergic to a particular adhesive or has a reaction to a medication given during anesthesia. It’s often not until the first reaction that anyone knows the patient can’t be exposed to those medications or medical items.
Defenses against medical malpractice protect providers
If every unhappy patient won a case against a medical provider, there would be very few doctors willing to work in America. That’s why medical malpractice defenses are so important. Medical providers need these defenses to show that they were not negligent or that they didn’t willfully harm a patient.
What are some good malpractice defenses?
Some good defenses are showing that the doctor’s care was in line with the standards in the medical community, that the injuries didn’t result from medical errors or that there was contributory negligence by the patient.
For example, if other medical providers would have taken the same steps and the patient still would have suffered an injury, it is likely that the patient’s provider was working within the recognized standards of care required by the medical community. A provider might also show that the patient had an allergic reaction or complication that could not have been predicted or prevented.
With contributory negligence, a provider may argue that the patient was negligent in a way that led to injuries, such as mixing medications or failing to disclose parts of their medical history.
Not every injury a patient suffers while under a medical provider’s care can, or even should, be blamed on the provider. Medical care can involve some amount of trial and error, and both patients and their providers must be communicative about their expectations. Patients have to be clear about their medical histories and providers need to disclose the risks. Taking these steps can reduce the risk of a medical malpractice case and quickly stop one before it harm’s a doctor’s reputation if one is filed.