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Doctors Blaming each Other makes it Easy for the Plaintiff to Prove Wrongdoing

Apr 11, 2015 | Medical Malpractice

Filing Lawsuit against Multiple Doctors

You can submit a medical malpractice lawsuit in New York for the harms and injuries you have suffered because of some doctor’s improper medical care. You could also sue multiple doctors, when many doctors have been involved in your treatment. In such instances, you might feel that one doctor will be accusing the other one for the wrongdoing. Doctor number one might say that do not blame me, it was doctor number two that caused the injuries, and vice versa. However, in reality this hardly ever happens.

Doctors will Rarely Blame Each Other

You will rarely see one doctor accusing the other at pretrial testimony or during trial. Why is this? The defense lawyers know very well that the moment doctors start fighting amongst themselves about who is actually responsible, it will make the job of the plaintiff so much easier. The plaintiff’s side has to show to the jury that they are more likely right than wrong and what they are claiming is true.

Now, if the two doctors are going at each other then it makes it easy for the plaintiff’s lawyer to show to the jury that his client is more likely right than wrong, and that he is making a truthful and genuine claim. The jury then has to decide only what percentage each doctor is responsible for the wrongdoing, rather than deciding whether they were responsible at all.

The moment each doctor fails to own up and take responsibility for his or her own actions, and starts pointing fingers at other doctors or hospital personnel involved in the case, the plaintiff’s attorney will seize on this opportunity and exploit it. Now it is not whether the plaintiff has a legitimate case but how much will the other side pay.

Easy Job for the Plaintiff if Doctors Blame Each Other

Once the doctors involved in the case start to blame each other, the plaintiff’s lawyer has to simply sit back and let them fight it out between themselves. However, the defense attorneys know this and therefore they will not ever let this situation manifest itself in public and certainly in the courtroom. The defense attorney will tell the each doctor involved in the case, during the deposition preparation that if he starts to blame the other doctor, it will create a major problem in terms of defending the case.

It could also have medical and legal repercussions that go passed this individual case.

Instead, the doctor is advised to focus on what he did, and to own up and take responsibility for that. Even if the doctor believes that the other doctor caused the patient harm, he should not mention it or focus on it during the deposition or trial. Doctors are advised not to point blame anywhere else; simply talk about what they did, and how those actions were appropriate.

This is typically how doctors will be prepared for their pretrial testimony and for their testimony at the trial. However, there are rare instances, when the stakes are high and the pressure overwhelms logic which compels some doctors to begin targeting each other. When this happens, the plaintiff has all but won the case.

The plaintiff’s lawyer then simply has to wait and enable each doctor to show to the jury how the other doctor is the one holding the hot potato.