Michael H. Bereston, Inc.

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What defenses are available to doctors in medical malpractice cases, pt. 1?

The best defense is a good offense. Doctors have a variety of defense tactics to delay or defeat your medical malpractice claim. Your attorney can address these issues should they pop up during your case. This article will briefly go over some of these defenses and how they may impact your case.

Doctors and hospitals are able to utilize many of the same defenses available to litigants in ordinary tort actions. These defenses are designed to ensure that only doctors who are negligent are forced to pay for the harm they cause. Most states have variations of these defenses and an attorney can elaborate on how these defenses may apply to your case.

On defense a doctor may employ is that of the Statute of Limitations. Essentially, these limitations act as a total bar to recovery if you take too long to file your claim. Your specific limitation depends on your situation. Generally your limitation clock begins to tick "when you discovered or should have discovered" the error. Once you figure out that the doctor made a mistake during your treatment, it is important that you begin to act quickly to file your claim. Your right to compensation could become barred if you procrastinate.

Occasionally, doctors deviate from the standard of medical care to treat a patient. Doctors, just like every profession, have standards approaches to treating patients. But, there are always new and radical techniques to treat patients. If a doctor is able to demonstrate that she (a) warned you of the risks and (b) that this was a relatively new treatment. This is known as the "respectable minority principle." This does not mean that completely experimental methods are acceptable ? it only means that some doctors, rather than most doctors, must agree on the treatment plan.

If you were injured due to doctor or nurse errorr then you may have a valid medical malpractice claim. If this happened to you then you should probably consult with an attorney to review your options. As stated above, time is of the essence for many of these claims. The last thing you want is for the doctor to raise a statute of limitation defense and defeat your claim before you even have a chance to litigate it.

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Michael H. Bereston, Inc.
138 Main Street, Suite 200
P.O. Box 2990
Annapolis, MD 21401

Maryland: 410-793-4554
Toll Free: 866-517-4037
Baltimore/Annapolis: 410-269-5011
DC: 202-628-2226
Fax: 410-269-5022

Annapolis Medical Malpractice Office

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