As a healthcare professional, you are passionate about caring for your patients. You are proud of your job and career accomplishments.
Unfortunately, mistakes do happen. If you believe a patient is wrongfully accusing you of medical malpractice, you need to prepare to defend yourself, and seek the advice of competent counsel.
Subject to the specifics of your case, here are some of the defenses you can raise if someone is accusing you of medical malpractice:
Your patient failed to follow the treatment plan
Patients should follow through with the prescribed treatment plan. This may include honoring scheduled appointments and taking medications as prescribed by the doctor. If a patient fails to follow through with the treatment plan, and their condition worsens as a result, you may have an argument against malpractice or the potential to shift fault.
The plaintiff took too long to file a claim
Medical malpractice claims, just like other legal matters, are governed by the statute of limitations. In New York, a patient has 30 months from the date of the malpractice in question or from the last date of continuous treatment to bring a medical malpractice claim. If they sue after this period, you may argue the expiration of the statute of limitations period as a defense.
The potential defenses available are not limited to those above. If a patient is wrongfully accusing you of medical malpractice, you must take proactive steps to defend yourself. This includes seeking the advice of competent counsel as soon as possible.