Understanding Contributory Negligence in Medical Malpractice Cases

When a doctor or other medical professional provides substandard care that directly results in serious injury to a patient, the patient may have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. However, there are some cases when the doctor is not entirely to blame. Sometimes, a patient's own actions can contribute to his injuries—a concept known as contributory negligence—which may make it more difficult for him to recover compensation. Contributory negligence in malpractice cases

When you’re confronted with a health crisis, it may seem that medical professionals are the ones making all the decisions, but there are a number of things patients do that can affect the care they receive—from relaying their medical history to following post-operative instructions. Examples of medical malpractice contributory negligence include:

  • Failing to fully disclose medical history, including previous surgical procedures and any known allergies
  • Lying about your personal or family medical history
  • Engaging in activities that aggravate the injury or medical condition
  • Failing to follow the medical professional's treatment or post-operative instructions

Contributory negligence is a common defense in medical malpractice cases; however, even in instances where contributory negligence played a role, it doesn't necessarily mean that the injured plaintiff will be unable to collect compensation. Tennessee is one of several states that follows modified comparative negligence rules, meaning that plaintiffs who are found partially to blame for their injuries may still be able to recover damages if they were less than 50 percent at fault.

Medical Malpractice Lawyers You Can Trust

Medical malpractices cases can be complex, especially those involving contributory negligence. That’s why it’s important to secure the representation of a knowledgeable and skilled lawyer.

If you were injured as a result of a medical professional's misdiagnosis, failure to diagnose a serious condition, or medical mistake, you may be entitled to compensation. The experienced medical malpractice lawyers with Holton Law Firm can review your claim to determine if contributory negligence is an issue. Contact Holton Law Firm today to schedule a free initial case analysis.