As a medical provider, you never want to see a patient get hurt. They come to you for a solution to their problems, to recover and heal. Sometimes, though, they simply don’t recover the way they should.
Complications are a part of the medical field. Naturally occurring complications are fairly common among patients. It’s impossible to know everything they’ll be allergic to or to determine if their body can handle a significant surgery. Though you can make your best effort to ensure their safety and a simple recovery, there is no guarantee.
What should you do if a patient accuses you of malpractice due to complications?
If a patient accuses you of malpractice, there are a few different things you can and should do. First, you need to get in touch with your attorney. They’ll discuss the best options for you as you move forward, because your primary concern has to be the protection of your medical license.
What you can do next depends on if you work for yourself, a clinic or a hospital. If you work for yourself, you may try to take time and explain how the complications arose to the patient. Perhaps they had an unlisted allergy or had underlying health concerns that no one was aware of. Explaining the situation could be all that’s necessary to calm the patient’s threat of a lawsuit.
Another thing that some hospitals encourage is a simple apology. Apologies do sometimes come off as admitting guilt, however, so be extremely careful if you intend to apologize. You can apologize that they didn’t recover as expected, but you should never apologize for something that happened to them that you didn’t cause.
Finally, you can let your attorney do the talking for you. It’s a reality that some patients are just looking for a big payout. Your attorney can discuss the realities of the case with their attorney and determine if there is any cause for concern on your part. If the patient has no evidence and is just making baseless claims, they can pursue a lawsuit, but the likelihood is that it would be quickly dismissed.
Your attorney will talk to you about what you should do in your specific case if you’re facing a lawsuit. Your career could be on the line, so it’s important to know the legal rights you have and what steps to take next to protect yourself.