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What are some common defenses to medical malpractice?

Every year, thousands of Americans are injured by medical malpractice. Sometimes these injuries turn fatal, leaving unsuspecting families utterly devastated. They face serious emotional harm, knowing that they will never be able to see their loved ones again. But, surviving families can also encounter the financial realities of the sudden and unexpected loss of a loved one. Lost wages, funeral costs and medical expenses can all take quite a toll on a family's financial wellbeing.

In an attempt to recover these losses, a family may be able to pursue compensation through a wrongful death medical malpractice lawsuit. When preparing such a claim it is important to consider the defenses that may be raised so that a family can do what is necessary to overcome them. So, what are some of the most common defenses to medical malpractice?

Perhaps the most common defense is a claim that negligence did not occur. A medical professional may argue that the medical work lived up to the applicable standard of care and/or that the care did not directly cause the victim's death. Overcoming this defense requires gathering significant evidence of the applicable standard of care and breach of that care.

Although that may be the most common defense, there are other defenses that could be possible. A doctor may claim that a patient is partially or wholly at fault for the death under a theory of contributory negligence. Or, a medical professional may argue that the statute of limitations has run, thus barring any recovery.

The type of defense that a plaintiff faces very well may shape the way the claim is presented. This takes preparation and knowledge of the law and legal strategy.

Source: FindLaw, "Defenses to Medical Malpractice," accessed on Nov. 13, 2016

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