Doctors are some of the most trusted professionals in society, but when things go wrong, they can be sued for malpractice. For many medical professionals, the fear of being sued is real. It can be challenging to know how to handle a malpractice claim if you are falsely accused. It’s important to know how to handle these cases. Here are nine professional tips on handling such claims from expert lawyers who have faced these situations before.
1) Know your state laws- Laws vary by state, so it’s important that you know what is allowed and not allowed where you live. Some states require warnings before surgeries, while others don’t allow them at all! So make sure you are aware of the requirements for where you work or practice medicine.
2) Be mindful of patient expectations- Patient expectations will often dictate whether a case goes forward or not, so it’s important to always keep an open dialogue with patients about what they expect before treatment. If you are unable to fulfill an expectation, make sure the patient knows.
3) Document everything- It’s important to document your entire conversation with the patient before treatment. This documentation will be helpful in court if you are ever faced with a malpractice claim.
4) Never assume- Never assume that someone cannot understand their rights or what they are signing before treatment. It’s always best to be direct and open about the situation with them so you can avoid any confusion. Assumptions can lead to mistakes and misunderstandings- both of which can cause a claim.
5) Hire an expert lawyer- It’s important to hire a good, trusted malpractice attorney. This will be your best line of defense if you are faced with such claims. Expert lawyers know the laws, have experts at their disposal, and will be able to help you navigate through these claims no matter how complex the case may be.
6) Don’t make promises- Don’t make any promises to patients about results or outcomes before surgery. This can be viewed as irresponsible and lead to some serious problems in the future. Promises can be hard to live up to, and that’s why it’s important not to make them.
It’s important not to mislead them in this way because they may use it against you in court if you fall short of what you promised.
Avoid misleading statements like “you’ll be fine” or “your health will improve”, as they can later cause problems for the doctor and make them look irresponsible in the eyes of a jury or judge.
7) Be honest with your patients- If you know that there’s a problem or issue in surgery, it’s important to be open and honest about the situation. This will help avoid misunderstandings after treatment. Please don’t wait until things escalate before taking them out with the patient. Honesty is always the best policy.
It’s important to be honest with your patients after treatment, whether that means an unexpected complication or a result they were not expecting. Being open and upfront about these issues early on will help avoid misunderstandings later down the road.
8) Offer support- Offer your full support to patients after surgery, and go over any questions or concerns they may have. This will help you stand out as a medical professional who cares about their patient’s well-being and isn’t trying to hide anything from them. Failure to offer support and only offering support after a patient complains will hurt your case.
It’s important to offer full support and concern for patients after treatment. Show them that you care about their well-being by going over any questions or concerns they may have with them, so there is no confusion later on down the road. Offering this kind of compassion shows that you truly care about people as more than just a doctor- but as a person who wants good health for those around them too!
9) Know when to settle- If you’re faced with a claim, it’s important that you don’t fight out of principle. You have to know when it would be best to settle the case and move on from the situation. Not fighting could save you a lot of money and headache in the future.
Pushing forward when your case isn’t in the right place can cause you to spend more money than necessary. If things are looking tough, it’s best to settle and move on- this is not a time for legalities or pride.
Don’t be afraid of the unknown when faced with malpractice claims. Just follow these tips and know that your rights are protected at all times. If you’re ever faced with a claim, hire a top malpractice attorney well-versed in state laws and can help guide you through every step of the process, so it doesn’t have to be scary anymore.