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Medical Malpractice Case Defenses That May Be Used to Defeat Your Right to Compensation

gavel and stethoscopeAn important strategy that may help you settle a medical malpractice claim is anticipating what the defense might be for the negligent party. Negligent parties can include a doctor, a medical staff, or a hospital/treatment facility. If you have an idea of the possible defenses these parties may raise, you and your attorney can develop a response and collect the evidence you need to defeat them.

What Are Common Defenses in Medical Malpractice Cases?

The precise defenses that could be raised in your medical malpractice case depend on your particular situation. However, some of these common defenses could be used:

  • Met standard of care. One critical element of your claim is a doctor or another medical care provider failed to exercise the proper standard of care. A common defense to this is the doctor didn't deviate from the community standard of care for treatment you received.
  • Comparative negligence. A physician could argue that you were in part at fault for causing your injuries due to your own comparative negligence. This could involve failing to follow your doctor’s advice, failing to seek prompt medical care, or engaging in actions that worsened your condition. If this defense is presented in Idaho, you would still be entitled to compensation as long as your doctor’s negligence was more the cause of your injuries than your own. However, your compensation would be reduced by your percentage of fault.
  • Disqualification of your expert. In order to even file a medical malpractice lawsuit in Idaho, you must have a medical expert’s testimony. Your expert must be qualified by his or her experience and education in the field applicable in your case, and have actual knowledge of the community standard of care at the time of your injury. The defense may choose to challenge any of these qualifications.
  • Informed consent. Your doctor could argue that you gave informed consent to the medical procedure and assumed the risk of possible injuries. However, informed consent involves more than reading and signing a form. In addition, informed consent doesn't mean agreeing to negligent medical treatment.
  • Reduction in damages. A common defense in any personal injury case, including medical malpractice claims, is that you weren't injured as seriously as you claim. As a result of this declaration, defense may claim you should receive less or even no compensation.
  • Failure to provide information. If you didn't provide all pertinent information regarding your medical condition to your doctor, he could argue that this lack of important details and not his care caused your injuries.


An experienced medical malpractice attorney can help you identify the strengths and weaknesses of your case and the potential defenses that could be raised. This can help you both collect the evidence to prove your claim and receive the compensation that you deserve. Call our office today to schedule your free case evaluation and learn about your legal options.