To a lot of people, physicians and lawyers do not go together. But the truth is that physicians are more likely to need a lawyer than other people because of the nature of their work. Since their job requires them to interact with a lot of people on a daily basis, often involving direct physical contact, the chances of being legally entangled are always there.
So here are some situations when you, as a physician, will need a lawyer:
When you are charged with medical malpractice
Being charged with medical malpractice is one of the worst misfortunes that can happen to you as a physician. Not only will it tarnish your reputation, but it can also ruin you financially. If found guilty, you may be sent to prison and may never be able to practice again. Even if you are found innocent, you might still be the subject of malicious rumors.
A medical malpractice lawsuit can be a humiliating experience for a physician. As soon as you are charged, your name and possibly your face will be all over the news and online, which can be an extremely traumatic experience. Since doctors are held in high regard, even a small misstep on your part will be viewed as a breach of trust people have placed on you. In the eyes of the people, you will likely be guilty until proven innocent.
Here are some examples of medical practices you can be charged with:
- Misdiagnosis: If your misdiagnosis of a disease or condition results in the patient’s death or disability, such as misdiagnosing a tumor as something else.
- Delayed diagnosis: If your delayed diagnosis of a disease or condition results in the patient’s death or disability.
- Medication error: If you are found to have prescribed the wrong medicine or an incorrect dose of medicine that results in the patient’s death or disability.
- Anesthesia error: If you, as an anesthesiologist gave the wrong amount of anesthesia to the patient, resulting in the patient’s death or disability.
- Surgery error: If you, as a surgeon, is found to have caused the death or disability of a patient while performing surgery on him/her.
These are just a few examples. Once you are charged with medical malpractice, you can’t just shrug your shoulders and walk away. If you are innocent, you have to fight back. Even if you are guilty, you won’t want to go down without a fight. So the first thing you need to do is hire a skilled and experienced medical malpractice lawyer.
Other situations when you will need a lawyer
There are many other situations when you will need to hire a lawyer. They include:
- The FBI, DEA or other government agencies that might come knocking on your door to ask questions.
- A former employee of your practice files a wrongful termination lawsuit or makes a complaint against you to the Department of Labor, EEOC, OSHA or any other government agency.
- An employee is found to have stolen prescription drugs, or made a false order, or ordered medication from a non-permitted supplier.
- You are called to testify in a lawsuit or to participate in any lawsuit-related interview or investigation by any government agency.
- An employee or partner is found to have stolen funds or property belonging to your practice.
- The authenticity of a physician’s license, board status, and other privileges are questioned.
- A former or current employee accuses you of sexual harassment, racial or gender discrimination, or any criminal conduct.
- You are accused of breaching the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
All these situations call for a healthcare attorney who can skillfully negotiate on your behalf, represent you in the court of law, and fight your case to a successful conclusion. Without a proper lawyer at your service, you will have little chance of coming unscathed. So, make sure to hire the best medical lawyer you can find.