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What are the three medical negligence defenses?

In a lawsuit involving medical negligence, various possible defenses may be employed, including:

Contributory negligence: According to this defense, the patient contributed to their injuries by failing to follow the healthcare provider’s instructions or withholding important information.

Medical Negligence & Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

Assumption of risk: According to this argument, a patient cannot hold a healthcare professional accountable for any injury that results from a procedure or treatment because they were aware of and consented to the risks involved.

Statute of limits: According to this defense, the patient’s claim is barred since it was not submitted within the legal deadline (also known as the statute of limitations).

Medical Negligence Case Claire Heywood

In 2013, Claire Heywood went in for a standard spinal surgery in the hopes of relieving the persistent back pain she had been experiencing. Unfortunately, the operation was unsuccessful, and Heywood now has lifelong paralysis as a result. 

Her family has filed a complaint for medical malpractice, claiming that the physicians were negligent in their monitoring of Heywood while she was undergoing the treatment, which resulted to Heywood’s spinal cord being injured as a result. The complaint said that Heywood’s physicians failed to recognize evidence of nerve injury during the operation and did not take the required precautions to prevent future harm to the patient’s nerves. 

The action ended in a settlement of $12 million, which was paid to Heywood as compensation for her injuries and to assist pay the expense of her ongoing medical requirements. Heywood will continue to seek treatment for her conditions, so the money will also help cover those costs. This instance demonstrates how important it is to properly monitor and care for patients when they are undergoing surgical operations.

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At Advox Law LLC, we have developed a keen focus on medical, family, criminal and immigration law. 

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Shankar Renganathan


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Sharanjit Kaur


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Associate Director

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Wendy Wang

Foreign Desks

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