A medical procedure can go wrong for many reasons, some of which are not preventable. However, New York patients and families who are looking for someone to blame after a procedure goes wrong may accuse the hospital, as well as the physicians, surgeons, nurses, and other medical professionals on the case, of medical negligence and sue them for damages.
If a patient has filed a medical malpractice claim against you, you may have a few ways to defend yourself. One possible defense is to establish a lack of causation.
What is a lack of causation?
The parties filing a medical malpractice claim against you will likely need to establish negligence and causation. In other words, they will need to show that:
- The defendants (e.g., the hospital or surgeon) breached the duty of care owed to the patient
- The defendants’ negligence caused the patient harm
- The patient suffered harm
It can be difficult for the patient and/or their family to establish causation, even if there is proof of negligence. This is because many medical procedures have complications and risks associated with them and it can be hard to prove with a reasonable degree of medical certainty that the patient harm was caused by the defendant’s negligence.
Proving lack of causation
The party filing to suit is responsible for establishing causation through expert testimony and other evidence. However, as the defendant, you can also provide your own expert testimony to show that the end result was a common bad outcome of the procedure and there is no proof that your negligence (if any) caused the outcome.
Proving lack of causation is just one way to defend against a medical malpractice claim. A medical malpractice defense attorney can come up with additional strategies that could work for you based on the specifics of your case.