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Healthcare Risk Management: Gresh & Looper on Common Mistakes to Avoid in Medical Malpractice Defenses

Healthcare Risk Management Gresh Looper Common Mistakes

In an article published by Healthcare Risk Management on March 29, 2021, Partners Jack Gresh and James E. Looper, Jr. are quoted discussing medical malpractice defenses and common mistakes to avoid when facing a lawsuit.

The first actions taken after receiving notice of a medical malpractice lawsuit can have significant implications for the outcome of the case. Awareness of the most commonly made mistakes can help healthcare professionals achieve a favorable outcome.

A few practices healthcare professionals should add to their “don’ts” list include defensiveness, altering records, and failing to consider early offers in the litigation process, among others.

Gresh suggests that two specific issues that go hand-in-hand can lead to more contentious litigation. These include “failing to quickly and realistically evaluate the claim from the standard of care, causation and damages perspective,” and failing to communicate effectively.

“The most underutilized tool a lawyer has, particularly now, is the telephone. Opening up a line of communication early with opposing counsel allows both to see the case from the other’s perspective,” he says. “Talk about what they see in their case, get information informally, and establish rapport. Keeping those lines of communication open will allow the case to be resolved quicker and more efficiently than recalcitrant, close-to-the-vest discovery.”

Further, healthcare professionals often regret failing to evaluate the case early, assessing the “standard of care, causation and damages.”

“Without an evaluation of all three, either the suit is settled when it should have been tried, settled for too much money, or tried when it should never have seen the courtroom,” he says. “Each of these ends in a negative outcome that could have been avoided by having an early and accurate assessment of liability and damages.”

For the full article, click here.

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