As a doctor, you know that not every patient you treat will leave content. Some enter with unrealistic expectations. Others do not react to the treatment you give in the way you or they expect and hope.
You are also human and work under immense pressure, so you will not always make the perfect decision or perform to your best. Yet, it can be worrying to know there is always the chance an unhappy patient or their family will sue you. It is important to know that many claims fail because plaintiffs cannot prove that the things the law requires to uphold a claim of medical negligence are true.
You had a duty of care toward the patient
Some people are so desperate or upset that they lash out at the wrong person. If it was your patient, you probably had a duty of care towards them, but if this was not the case, it’s essential to show that.
You deviated from the expected standard of care
If you did what most other doctors would have done in your position, you probably do not have a case to answer. If, however, you abandoned the rule book, you might.
They suffered harm that was a direct result of your actions or inaction
Sometimes, people link two things that are merely coincidental. Yes, a patient may have gotten seriously ill after you treated them, but that does not mean you caused their harm. A plaintiff must show they suffered harm and prove it was a direct result of something you did wrong.
The law understands that doctors cannot achieve perfect results all the time. However, not all patients do. Getting assistance to build your defense is wise if someone accuses you of negligence.