When a medical mistake rises to the level of a medical malpractice claim by a Pennsylvania patient, the alleged mistake is usually quite serious. Individuals who have been harmed medically utilize malpractice claims to rectify the wrong done to them, although this wrong must be proven by the patient. At the end of the day, a medical malpractice case often centers on negligence, whereby the claimant has to demonstrate negligence by satisfying certain required elements. At their most basic, these elements include showing that there was a duty owed, a breach of that duty, a proximate cause of the harm done and subsequent damages.
Even though a claimant has the right to pursue a case against the negligent party or parties, the accused also have the right to defend themselves against the allegations. It is helpful for harmed parties to be familiar with the tactics which may be used by defendants in a malpractice case. Possible defenses to a medical malpractice claim include, but are not limited to, contributory negligence, the respectable minority principle, and statute of limitations. Although these defenses are available and viable in many cases, the accused must still provide solid evidence for their defense.
In a contributory negligence defense, the defendant would have to show that the accuser's acts contributed more to the alleged harm than the actions of the medical professional. With respect to statute of limitations defense, if the claimant does not bring a timely claim, then the claim may be dismissed. The respectable minority principle defense is a bit more complicated. If a medical professional can show that they acted in a way that a respectable minority of medical professionals would have acted under the same circumstances, then this becomes an operable defense.
Cases involving medical professional negligence are not necessarily "slam-dunks" and are defensible.
Pennsylvania malpractice attorneys are well-acquainted with these and other strategies used by defense teams. By seeking help for one's legal situation as soon as possible, a malpractice victim can ensure they adhere to the statute of limitations and prepare thoroughly for the tactics of the defense.
Source: Findlaw, "Defenses to medical malpractice," accessed Dec. 30, 2014