Pursuing a medical malpractice lawsuit can provide extensive financial relief and a sense of justice to those who are wronged by negligent medical professionals. However, before compensation can be obtained, certain legal elements must be shown. This means gathering and presenting evidence of negligence and causation, which can be challenging in its own right. However, even when one believes that he or she has built a strong case, he or she still has to confront any defenses that are raised. Therefore, it is important for medical malpractice victims to understand the defenses they may face, as it will allow them to build a stronger case.
One common defense to hospital negligence in contributory negligence. Here, a defendant claims that the harm suffered would not have been caused had it not been for the negligence of the patient. This may arise in a situation in which a patient fails to disclose relevant medical history or allergies.
Another defense to medical malpractice involves showing that a course of treatment, although a bit unconventional, is still supported by a respectable minority of professionals in the field. This defense may arise when a radical form of treatment is used on a patient, perhaps when dealing with a particularly aggressive disease.
Medical malpractice lawsuits must be filed in a timely manner. When they are not, then a defendant may claim that the statute of limitations has run, thereby barring any claim. When the statute of limitations clock starts running can be argued, as it is usually tied to when a patient knew or reasonably should have discovered his or her injuries.
A strong medical malpractice case must be holistic and aggressive in nature. Not only does a plaintiff need to have strong evidence to support the claim, but he or she must also be prepared to rebut any defenses that may be raised. To better prepare legal arguments for their position and against a defense, those affected by medical negligence usually discuss their situation with a qualified attorney.