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Defending a medical malpractice claim in Tennessee

On Behalf of | Jan 19, 2022 | Insurance Law

Every doctor in Tennessee has a real motivation to save a life or help someone get better. However, errors sometimes occur that lead to a medical malpractice lawsuit. If you are facing a lawsuit, it’s important to know how to mount a defense.

Reacting to a medical malpractice lawsuit

Approximately half of all doctors in the countries face a medical malpractice claim at least once in their lifetime, and 65% of these claims are usually withdrawn, dismissed or dropped. It is very common for a patient to sue you.

Medical malpractice cases can last two to five years in court. That’s a very long time to stress over a lawsuit. Therefore, you need to stay calm and patient and allow the process to work itself out.

What to do as the case advances

If you have medical malpractice insurance, the insurance company’s medical malpractice defense attorney will take care of the case. You will discuss with that lawyer in detail your account of the circumstances of the case.

Next, the patient’s attorney will send you a series of written questions to gather all information they can about the case. Work closely with your attorney when drafting your answers. You will then meet up with the patient’s lawyer in the presence of a court reporter. You will answer questions under oath, and the reporter will record all the answers. When this process is complete, you will testify before the court.

Defenses to use

  • Respectable minority principle – If you used a form of treatment outside the medical mainstream that some respectable minority of medical professionals supported or used before, you can use that as a defense.
  • Contributory negligence – If the patient did something that made the injury occur and you can prove it, you may have a valid defense against the malpractice claim.
  • Absence of causation – If you failed to identify a terminal condition that would have still led to death or further damage if you did, your attorney could argue toward eliminating the causal link between your error and the actual resultant harm.

Medical malpractice cases are complex and can take years to settle. Throughout the process, you should stay calm and avoid making statements that might incriminate you.