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Doctors who learn they are the subject of a medical malpractice lawsuit must take action

Doctors are among the most revered of all professionals, and with good reason. The men and women who choose to become physicians spend years learning and training how to help, treat and effectively heal people who are ailing or in emergency medical situations. In some cases, despite a doctor's best efforts, a patient may suffer harm, injury or death.

Left to grapple with a permanent injury or loss of a loved one, these types of unfortunate medical occurrences are sometimes blamed on an attending physician. For the same reasons doctors are revered, they are also often blamed when a desired medical outcome isn't achieved. For doctors facing a medical malpractice lawsuit, it's wise to seek the advice and assistance of an attorney.

While every incident that results in a medical malpractice lawsuit is unique, there are a few defenses that are commonly employed in response to allegations of wrongdoing on a doctor's part. One of the most common defenses centers on negligence and whether a doctor's actions were in-line with standard and accepted medical practices. In many cases, this defense is all that's needed to dispute claims of negligence and wrongdoing.

Another possible defense to a medical malpractice lawsuit involves contributory negligence and the theory that a patient's actions contributed to or caused the adverse medical situation. For example, in cases where a patient fails to inform a doctor of his or her heavy drug or alcohol use, he or she could experience adverse side-effects or worse if administered certain prescription medications.

Doctors and other medical professionals who discover they are the subject of a medical malpractice lawsuit have a lot at stake. For the men and women who have devoted their entire lives to medicine and helping people, it's important to vigorously defend against allegations of negligence and wrongdoing.

Source: FindLaw.com, "Defenses to Medical Malpractice," April 9, 2015

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