Patients and Malpractice Suits: 6 Things Medical Professionals Should Know

As a medical professional, you handle high-stress, high-stakes situations on a daily basis. But few circumstances feel as intimidating as when a patient names you in a medical malpractice suit.

In this post, we arm you with six facts about these lawsuits that you, as a doctor, nurse, or surgeon, should know.

Many Professionals Have Faced Malpractice Litigation

You may feel alone when faced with a lawsuit. However, many medical professionals encounter malpractice litigation during their careers. About 42% of general practitioners have experienced a lawsuit. And 90% of surgeons over the age of 55 have faced a suit.

The Majority of Malpractice Suits Settle

Medical malpractice suits may represent a commonplace occurrence, but they rarely reach a jury. Though a lawsuit may feel scary, remember that a full 27% of claims reach a settlement. Additionally, two thirds of malpractice suits are withdrawn or dropped by the plaintiff, or dismissed.

Most Malpractice Suits that Reach Trial Find in the Professional’s Favor

Of the 8% of malpractice suits that come before a jury, between 80 and 90% find in the medical professional’s favor.

You Can Take Preventative Steps Before a Suit Occurs

Do you fear a patient may file a suit, but have not been served? Reach out to your insurer to find out how you can secure legal representation.

You Have a Right to Protect Your Position and Interests

Though you must cooperate during a medical malpractice suit, you should never volunteer information. You should also avoid the following:

  • Admitting fault
  • Making statements “off the record”
  • Speaking to the plaintiff’s attorney without representation

The plaintiff’s attorney may approach you throughout the proceedings. Do not provide him or her with information or materials unless directed to do so by your insurer.

 Retaining Your Honesty and Integrity is Vital

As you face a malpractice suit, keep in mind that maintaining your professional integrity has just as much importance as protecting yourself. Do not take any measures that may look dishonest to an outside observer, including making changes to a patient’s medical records or withholding information.

When the lawsuit process begins, your insurance carrier chooses an attorney for you. Rely on your attorney to get you through this difficult process. He or she can offer important advice, prepare you for events such as deposition, and guide you through this difficult process. Address any of your concerns with your attorney and follow the guidelines above to give your reputation and career their best possible defense during malpractice litigation. Check out for more information regarding attorneys and malpractice lawsuits.