Facing a Medical Malpractice Suit? Avoid These Common Mistakes
If a patient has taken action against you, there’s a lot at stake. Even if his or her claims are partially or wholly unfounded, you could be facing a lengthy legal battle that demands a considerable amount of your time, money, and attention.
While there’s no way to ensure a favorable outcome—legal proceedings are, after all, inherently unpredictable—there are steps you can take to give your defense the best chance of success. There are also missteps you must avoid, however, to keep from jeopardizing your case inadvertently.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common mistakes that providers make when facing a medical malpractice suit so you can be sure to avoid them:
1. Posting About the Incident on Social Media
It’s natural to turn to your friends, loved ones, and colleagues online when you need to vent, but posting about pending lawsuits on social media is unadvisable. Even if you’re merely trying to defend yourself, there’s no way to be sure how what you publish online will be interpreted—or misinterpreted—and ultimately used against you in a court of law.
In fact, it’s best to stay off social media altogether until the suit has been resolved. If temporarily disabling your accounts is not an option, you can avoid hurting your defense inadvertently by updating your privacy settings so only approved friends and followers can see what you post. You should also avoid publishing anything about your work.
2. Apologizing to the Patient or His or Her Family
People are inclined to apologize when they see someone suffering, even if they’re not actually responsible for the pain. Since apologizing to the patient could be deemed an admission of guilt, however, it’s essential that you avoid doing so.
Instruct the rest of your team not to apologize, either. You can, however, offer empathy and compassion. In these scenarios, it’s generally best to recall what you learned in medical school and let your extensive training and bedside manner guide you.
3. Proceeding Without Legal Counsel
While providers facing malpractice suits are certainly entitled to defend themselves, it’s wise to seek legal representation. A resourceful attorney will help you determine how best to frame your defense and then take the steps needed to build it. He or she will:
- Conduct a thorough investigation of the incident in which you allegedly deviated from the standard of care;
- Depose eyewitnesses;
- Consult other medical experts who can bolster your defense;
- Handle all correspondence with your insurance carrier, if you have one;
- Evaluate the patient’s damages; and
- Negotiate for a payout, if the claim proves viable.
Discuss Your Claim with a Medical Malpractice Defense Lawyer
If you’ve been accused of medical malpractice, contact Lubell Rosen, LLC to determine how best to proceed. We represent both Bare and insured providers, and we always go the extra mile for our clients. Call (954) 880-9500 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a consultation with a medical malpractice defense attorney in Florida.