Defenses to medical malpractice are based on the medical malpractice claim that is made against the doctor, medical care provider or hospital. Medical care providers may wonder how to refute claims of medical malpractice and defend themselves against a serious charge of medical malpractice.

To begin with, it is helpful to understand what a claim for medical malpractice is based on. A medical malpractice claim may be brought when the medical care professional or hospital is alleged to have been negligent and that the negligent care provided caused harm to the patient. The standard used to determine if the medical care provider or hospital was negligent is what a medical care provider in similar circumstances would have done which is known as the standard of care.

A medical malpractice claim for negligence asserts that the medical care the patient received fell below the standard of care. Medical malpractice defenses may refute that the medical care and treatment the patient received fell below the standard of care or that it constituted negligence. A medical malpractice defense may also be based on asserting the respectable minority principle, if the treatment received was a newer treatment for example, or contributory negligence if the patient failed to disclose their medical history or take medications as prescribed.

Medical malpractice claims can be complex and must also be timely filed which can provide the basis for another type of medical malpractice defense if the claim is filed past the period of time allowed to bring a claim. As a result, it is important for medical care professionals of all types, and hospitals, to be familiar with the legal options they have to defend themselves against medical malpractice claims.