Patient’s Contributory or Comparative Negligence

As malpractice is a form of negligence, defenses that are generally allowed against general claims of negligence are also viable against claims of malpractice. These might include the following defenses:

  • The patient was also negligent and caused much of his or her own harm
  • The patient failed to mitigate his or her own harm or damage or made them worse
  • The patient gave an informed consent and therefore assumed the risk of any [complication or untoward effect]
  • The alleged harm or damage was an unavoidable “known risk” that occurs without negligence
  • The patient failed to disclose important information to the doctor
  • The patient’s prognosis or condition was not worsened by the alleged negligence
  • The patient engaged in some intervening or superceding conduct following the alleged malpractice that broke the chain of events linking the malpractice to the patient’s damages or harm

Inside Patient’s Contributory or Comparative Negligence