Find Lawyers in Raleigh, North Carolina for Medical Malpractice Law - Defendants
With an extensive trial résumé, Brian centers his practice on the defense of transportation liability claims involving large commercial trucks and buses, medical negligence cases, insurance coverage litigation, insurance bad faith and extra-contractual litigation, and insurance regulatory matters including representation of the North Carolina Rate Bureau and the North Carolina Reinsurance Facility. Brian has litigated cases to verdict in many state and federal courts in North Ca...
Mr. Coltrain practices primarily in the field of construction law, providing legal advice, litigation services, and assistance in regulatory compliance efforts. Prior to practicing law, Mr. Coltrain graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering and worked for five years as a project engineer in the nuclear and plastics industry. Mr. Coltrain was the 2013-2014 Chair of the Construction Law Section of the North Carolina Bar Association. He is a 2012 Carolin...
Dana is a litigator, advisor and defender of the transportation, long term care and electric industries. As a litigation team member at Young Moore and Henderson since 1990, Dana has evolved her law practice from the defense of automobile cases for insurance companies to complex defense litigation for motor carriers, nursing homes, and rural electric cooperatives. Her day-to-day activities involve accident scene investigations, consultation with industry or medical experts, and analysis of fa...
Donna Renfrow Rutala, B.S.N., J.D., practices in the areas of medical malpractice defense litigation and health law. In her work, Donna represents hospitals, physicians, and other health care providers in civil litigation as well as administrative proceedings. She also advises hospitals on health law and employment law issues. Donna has trial experience in both the federal and state courts of North Carolina and has appeared before various administrative tribunals including the North Carolina ...
Robert S. Shields, Jr. is a member of Manning Fulton’s litigation practice. He has over 30 years of experience representing clients in a wide variety of civil litigation matters. His broad range of experience spans from professional liability defense and catastrophic damages to commercial real estate litigation and business related disputes. Rob has represented corporations, attorneys, physicians, and hospitals as well as healthcare providers in disciplinary matters including licensing,...
Joe’s work centers on medical malpractice defense and related practice areas. He has more than 30 years’ experience in medical malpractice, workers’ compensation and general casualty litigation. Joe represents physicians, hospitals, long term care providers and medical device manufacturers in matters involving risk management and loss prevention, licensing, corporate compliance programs, internal investigations, fraud and abuse, credentialing, and peer review. He has appeare...
Medical Malpractice Law - Defendants Definition
In simple terms, the standard of care is the legal duty that a health care provider (physician, nurse, medical technician, hospital, clinic, etc.) owes to the patient. That duty or obligation arises from the professional relationship established with the patient. It is axiomatic that without such a relationship the obligation to treat or provide care could not exist. The professional relationship, however, does not always require direct communication between the health care provider and patient may be established indirectly. For example, in addition to a physician who accepts a patient directly, lab technicians, pathologists, and radiologists may not encounter a patient personally but have the legal duty to comply with applicable standards of care.
Most states have enacted legislation which controls this area of specialized litigation and the legal duty of health care providers is largely defined by statute. It is now universally accepted that the duty and, thus, the standard of care, requires a health care provider to exercise the degree of reasonable care, skill, and diligence as would ordinarily be exercised by a similarly situated health care provider for a similar patient under the same or similar circumstances. The primary emphasis in this definition is necessarily placed on the requirement of "reasonable" care.
Frequently the defense of these cases will focus on the fact that the law does not require a physician or health care provider to be infallible in the exercise of his/her clinical judgments for a patient. Indeed, the law does not require perfection on the part of anyone. Important emphasis is also given to the recognition by medical science that there are often unexpected, unfortunate, and even tragic outcomes that will occur, despite reasonable care. So long as the care is found to be reasonable, there is no malpractice.
In a medical malpractice case, the burden is on the plaintiff to prove the following elements in order to be entitled to a verdict:
- A duty owed by the health care provider.
- A breach of that duty, i.e., a failure by the health care provider to meet the standard of care.
- Injury or death caused by the breach of duty by the health care provider.
While the law generally imposes no burden of proof on the defendant, the defense, where appropriate, will seek to discredit the plaintiff's theory of liability by a showing of the reasonableness of the care provided & contradictions to evidence offered by the plaintiff. This is done through testimony from the defendant with emphasis on her/his training, education and experience and the basis for the clinical judgment at issue. Additionally, pertinent medical literature may be presented along with qualified expert testimony to further demonstrate the appropriateness of the care provided and, in many cases, to show that the outcome was not produced by negligence, but may be the result of an inherent risk associated with the condition of the patient or the treatment, despite good and proper care.
The law also recognizes that, within the standard of care, there are often alternative methods of treatment which may be employed for a given medical condition and that a physician, for example, must be free to choose and follow the method he deems best for his patient, even though some other physician may later argue in favor of another method. As long as the method selected to diagnose or treat was reasonable within the standard of care and implemented with due care, there would be no liability (even if the diagnosis is later shown to be incorrect or the treatment resulted in an injurious complication).
In selecting counsel for the defense of medical malpractice claims, the health care provider and his/her representative will want to ask a number of important questions such as:
- What is the experience of the attorney/law firm in defending these highly specialized cases?
- What is the rate of successful defense for the attorney/law firm?
- What resources does the firm possess for investigation, medical/legal research, qualified support staff, development of demonstrative evidence, etc.?
- What is the expected time frame to conclusion of the litigation in the jurisdiction/venue?
- What involvement will the defendant have in assistance and preparation of her/his defense?
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