Medical malpractice lawsuits are one of the most complicated areas of the law. Medical practitioners face many challenges when navigating their medical practice, including various regulations at numerous levels, and they should also be mindful of their legal obligations. This blog post explores seven medical malpractice lawsuits’ effects on practitioners and how those challenges can be mitigated. It would help if we understood the different types of the most common medical malpractice claims, including:
- Medical negligence claims
- Civil medical malpractice claims
- Medical misdiagnosis claim
- Emotional distress claims in medical malpractice lawsuits
1. Increase Insurance Costs
Medical malpractice insurance premiums are high because doctors are often sued for malpractice. The more often a doctor is sued for malpractice, the more they will pay for medical malpractice insurance in the long run. This could potentially be devastating to a small group of practitioners with an unusually high volume of malpractice lawsuits annually.
2. Take a Toll on Reputation
Reputations are essential in the healthcare industry. When a doctor’s reputation is damaged, it can affect their ability to find or keep new patients, negatively affecting your business. If a doctor is sued for malpractice, this could lead to a loss of future business and medical malpractice lawsuits.
3. It Takes Time to Recover from
Many doctors will spend weeks, months, or even years trying to prove their innocence after being sued for medical malpractice. This means that many of these doctors will lose income during the time it takes to complete their legal defense.
4. Affect the Health of the Practitioner
A doctor faced with a medical malpractice lawsuit will face a challenge that is not only very stressful but also potentially expensive. This could lead to depression and anxiety for many doctors. Even if you can prove your innocence, many practitioners have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after an experience in which they were falsely accused of malpractice. Many doctors will leave their practice entirely once they have been sued for malpractice, leading to economic loss and joblessness in some areas of the country.
5. Could Affect Your Ability to Practice Medicine
One of the most devastating impacts of a malpractice lawsuit is that it could prevent you from practicing your profession. Some state boards will revoke your license or ability to practice medicine if you are sued for malpractice and found to be liable. This can cause severe financial consequences for a doctor and has been estimated to affect up to one in four medical practitioners who have been sued for malpractice.
7. Can Directly Affect Patients
This is one of the essential effects of medical malpractice lawsuits because it can directly affect patients who need care. When doctors are sued for malpractice, they could spend a lot of time defending themselves in court, and if they are found to be liable, their medical licenses could be revoked. This means that patients who need medical care may not be able to receive it from the doctor that previously provided their healthcare services. Patients and physicians should look at all possible ways to avoid lawsuits over medical malpractice because even if you are ultimately found innocent, the long-term effects can have severe economic consequences for both parties involved.
In conclusion, doctors should exercise caution when practicing their profession. They should be mindful of the responsibilities that come with practicing medicine and any potential liability a practitioner could face, including medical malpractice lawsuits.