If you are a doctor, you likely pride yourself on the work you do and enjoy being able to improve the health of your patients. All doctors are human though, and even the best doctors make mistakes from time to time. If a mistake you made has opened you up to a medical malpractice case, here are a few tips to keep in mind.
Figure Out If You Are Getting Help From a Hospital or If You Need Your Own Attorney
If you are a doctor who works at a hospital, chances are the patient is suing the hospital as well and not just you. Talk to your superiors first to see which direction they want to go on this. But if you do not believe you are getting legal help from the hospital or if you don't work in a hospital and have a private practice, you'll want to start researching medical malpractice attorneys immediately.
Be Prepared to Rebut Their Experts With Your Own
Medical malpractice cases are often built on expert opinion. The patient might try to find someone who will testify in court that you made a mistake. While that may be their honest opinion, you have the right to rebut and present your own witnesses. Talk to other doctors in your field about the case or hunt down potential expert witnesses with the help of your attorney. And of course, you yourself are certainly an expert in your chosen field, so get your story down on paper and don't deviate from it.
Show There Was Little Harm
Another common defense in medical malpractice cases is to cede that a mistake was made but minimize the damages by showing that the patient didn't suffer that much. This won't work if someone really did get hurt, but if you are getting hit with a lawsuit from someone simply because they see an opportunity to get a payout, the court will likely side with you. Your "mistake" might have happened, but if it was quickly corrected and the patient didn't really suffer for very long, you're not going to have to pay out very much money.
If you are hit with a medical malpractice accusation, get legal help immediately. Even if the hospital provides you with legal advice, you may still want to hire your own personal attorney to watch out for your interests above all others. For more information, contact a lawyer today.