It’s no exaggeration to say that doctors are our modern heroes. They may not wear capes or don a fancy name as fictional superheroes have, but they have just as much influence and power, having saved lives for the past few centuries.
Indeed, doctors and other healthcare practitioners have been instrumental to the extension of the average lifespan today. Thanks to their expertise in medicine, most people can diagnose their conditions, treat them, and hopefully heal from them. With the proper medical care, any person can live long and well.
However, although doctors have been a pillar of society and take great pride in their work, there are times when they make mistakes. Unlike in other occupations where missteps don’t have much of an impact, a healthcare practitioner or provider’s error can cause harm, injury, or even death. In times like those, someone may file a medical malpractice claim against them.
Receiving a Medical Malpractice Claim
Although being sued for malpractice is far from good, this doesn’t mean that you lose your license—at least not yet. With your personal and professional reputation on the line, it’s understandable to feel frustrated, but how you react and act will be crucial to your case.
When facing a medical malpractice lawsuit, you must make sure to take the following steps:
Contact Your Insurer
If a claim is filed against you, you must notify your medical malpractice carrier as soon as possible, aside from telling your employer. Since there is only a small pool of defense attorneys specializing in medical malpractice, you must notify your carrier so that they can find suitable legal representation for you.
Build Your Defense
Fortunately, you don’t have to construct your defense on your own. Depending on the skills of the lawyer representing you, they may have already developed the case. However, you should leave all the work to your lawyer; you must be proactive in helping the defense team.
Some of the most commons strategies in defending malpractice cases include:
- Rejection of expert testimony: if the plaintiff presents an expert, you may argue that they’re unqualified to provide an expert opinion on the topic. If you convince the judge that the expert’s testimony is unreliable, they won’t testify.
- Reduction or elimination of damages: Depending on your case, you may ignore whether you made a mistake and focus on whether the patient was harmed in any way. If the patient can’t prove that they’ve been significantly hurt, you might end up just paying for minimal damages.
- Absence of causation: In missed diagnosis cases, you may use this kind of argument to defend your case. If the death would have occurred whether or not you made the correct diagnosis and no treatment would have prevented the patient’s death, then it may be possible to eliminate the causal link between your error and the harm caused by your action.
Be Prepared for the Period of Inactivity
Unfortunately, you won’t be able to work as a medical professional while the case is ongoing. Depending on the legal process and state laws, it could take years before you can continue working again. Frustration is your biggest enemy during this period—we recommend expecting any inefficiencies and inconveniences for the sake of your mental health.
There’s no question that medical work is one of the most stressful undertakings one can handle. Sometimes, the work environment can become too much to deal with, leading to a loss of control over a physician’s decision-making skills, affecting the lives of their patients. As long as you work with the right legal team, you’ll have a greater chance of effectively defending your case and protecting your medical license.
Have you been sued for medical malpractice and don’t know what to do? Then, leave it to our legal team at MHM Firm to defend your case. With 75 years of experience in law, we will passionately seek justice for you with hard work, honor, and integrity. Connect with us today.