Getting sued for medical malpractice is every doctor’s worst nightmare. In fact, according to an American Medical Association survey, 42 percent of physicians have been sued during their careers.
Even if the allegations are wrong and frivolous, they can still result in damage to your professional and personal reputation. Once you are served through certified mail, a phone call, a visit to your office, or a knock on the door of your home, there are certain steps to take to alleviate the damage and put yourself in the best position to thwart false allegations.
You should do the following as soon as you find out you are being sued for medical malpractice:
- Remain calm – Due to how emotionally overwhelming these allegations may be, people tend to do really crazy and self-destructive things when they panic. Do not panic and immediately speak with an attorney about the accusations.
- Do not alter or change the medical records. Efforts do so can easily be construed as covering up a negligent act. Additionally, do not even try to review the plaintiff’s medical chart.
- Notify your malpractice insurance carrier – At the first sign that a claim may be made, contact your malpractice insurer.
- Do not speak to the plaintiff or their attorney about the case – Since they are only looking out for their own best interests, they will look for anything you say that can be used against you. Trying to persuade them that you are innocent may only make your case worse.
- Avoid speaking to medical colleagues and others – While it is human nature that a doctor experiencing something as stressful as a lawsuit would wish to discuss it with trusted colleagues and confidantes. However, any non-privileged conversation you engage in regarding the specifics of the case can later be used against you.
If you have been sued for medical malpractice in South Carolina, our Charleston civil litigation defense attorney at PHSW is committed to protecting your rights, best interests, and reputation. With nearly 20 years of legal experience, we can develop an effective defense strategy to fight these claims against you and help you obtain the outcome you desire.
Contact us and request a free consultation today.