As a medical provider in Miami, your one wish is to do all you can to help your patients. Sadly, there are sometimes complications that you can't control. A patient might have an unexpected allergy, or an infection might set in despite your best efforts to prevent it.
When the worst happens, you're the first to know and care about the outcome. That's why it's so hurtful when you face medical malpractice claims. While many of the claims won't be founded in any truth, the lawsuit that hangs over your head is distracting, to say the least.
How should you approach a medical malpractice case?
When it comes to malpractice, you know whether or not it has taken place. To protect yourself, your practice and your license, it's smart to start collecting documents to defend yourself. For example, some of the documents that might support your side of the events include:
- Forms patients filled out with allergies or medications they're currently taking
- Informed consent documents
- Data from the surgery including videos or detailed documentation throughout the course of the surgery
- Witness statements
- Your history and background
In many cases, patients simply don't understand that complications aren't always a result of medical mistakes. Surgeons can do a lot to prevent injuries, for example, but if a patient does too much too soon, they could tear open a wound or cause an infection by not following treatment steps closely.
No medical provider should have to worry about an unfair accusation being used against them, but they do happen. It's possible to meet with the patient and their family members at the beginning of any case, so that you can discuss what happened and why it's not malpractice.
For example, you may explain to a patient that the worsening of their wound was directly related to a lack of follow-up care (if they don't return to the office) or that an allergic reaction was not predicted because there was no previous indication of allergies listed by the patient.
Your attorney will help guide you on what you should or should not say to patients or others involved in the case. Accidents do happen, but more often than not, patients simply misunderstand what took place. Sometimes, being able to give a simple explanation of the surgery's events will be enough. If not, then you should be prepared to defend yourself if the patient takes you to court.