It can be heartbreaking when you dedicate your life to helping people, only to find that one day, one client tries to destroy your good name by bringing a medical malpractice claim against you.
55% of U.S. physicians have been sued by a client, according to a report from the American Medical Association (AMA). The good news is that the doctor usually wins. Only 32% of claims succeed. Of the cases that made it to court, only 12% succeeded.
However, defending a claim still has a high cost, whether it gets to court or not. It will cost you emotionally, it will cost you time and resources, and even if revoked, it could damage your good reputation.
Knowing you have a one in two chance of being sued means you need to take preventative action. While you cannot rule out everything, taking these measures can reduce the likelihood that you get sued for medical malpractice:
- Communicate clearly with your patient: The better you explain things to your patient, the more in control they will feel. It can be easy to forget how stressful any sort of medical experience can be for a patient; how you talk to them can be very important.
- Do not be afraid to lower a patient’s expectations: Promising what you are not sure you can deliver is setting yourself up for problems. Be honest with your patient and their family about what you can and cannot do.
- Know your limits and seek help when you need it: No one expects you to know everything. There is no shame in asking for help when you need it.
The first thing to do if accused of medical malpractice is to seek legal advice from a Miami attorney who has defended medical malpractice claims before.