Defending Yourself In a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

As a medical professional, you have a duty to uphold the standards and best practices of medicine. As much as you strive to provide the best care to your patients, mistakes can happen and you may find yourself being sued for medical malpractice.
Malpractice lawsuits are highly complex that involve many medical issues. In this article we’ll provide a brief overview of what proof the patient must bring to court and what arguments you can provide to defend yourself.

There are a few things the patient must provide:

Proof that a doctor-patient relationship existed

This element in medical malpractice cases usually goes unchallenged and can be easily proved with medical records. If you have evidence to the contrary, then you should provide it as a defense.

Proof that the doctor did not uphold the medical standard of care

Plaintiffs can bring in witnesses who may be able provide testimony that illustrates a link between negligence of the medical professional and the patient’s injury. Other doctors can be expert witnesses who provide information on what a competent medical professional would have done in similar circumstances. The patient must also show that the injury wasn’t caused by anything else such as other underlying medical issues.

Proof “by a preponderance of evidence”

In criminal cases the plaintiff must provide enough evidence to the court that proves “beyond a reasonable doubt” that a party was guilty. However, in personal injury claims such as medical malpractice, the burden of proof is not as stringent. As long as a patient can convince the jury that the facts that he/she is providing is “more likely than not” true, there’s a chance that the jury could rule in favor of the patient.

Your Defense

As a defendant, you have the right to your own expert witnesses to show that your actions were within the medical standards and that you did not deviate from those best practices. You could argue that the plaintiff’s expert witness is unreliable or isn’t fully qualified to provide testimony.