As a physician, from the moment you enter the healthcare system you are at risk of malpractice suits which will likely come when you are least prepared. So it is important to understand what is ahead and to protect yourself from medical liabilities. (Below is our summary but feel free to jump to the full post here that Physician’s Thrive put together.)
You’ll need the right liability coverage to help you through the process and come out of it with your reputation and finances intact.
Having medical malpractice insurance means that you are not alone in this because they are required to:
- defend you with legal counsel.
- cover the cost of this legal counsel.
Okay so we know what is ahead for us but what do we do when we first receive a Notice Letter with intent to file. Try not to panic, as you know 99% of physicians will at some point be sued in their career.
- Notify Your Insurance Carrier Immediately
- Do Not Try to Speak to the Plaintiff’s Attorney
- Pull the Patient’s Chart
- Keep the Claim Private
In order for a case to be considered viable, it has to meet the tort of negligence. This means it has to be established there was a breach of the standard of care. For the Plaintiff to win a case, they need to prove four findings. Unlike criminal cases where the plaintiff must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, the burden of proof in medical malpractice cases is more than a 50% chance of guilt. So the plaintiff must prove these four findings to a more than likely scenario of truth.
- Duty of Care Was Owed
- Duty of Care Was Breached
- Proximate Cause
- Damages Due to the Breach Proven
You can prepare yourself by attending a liability risk management class through your insurer. And to be ready for any suit that may come your way, take proper detailed documentation of every patient visit and include your thought process on treatment plans and diagnoses.
So how do you find top notch malpractice insurance?
Download the Physicians’ Guide to Malpractice Insurance from our friends at Physicians Thrive to get the full scoop!
Physicians Thrive is an advisory group providing specialized services for physicians such as contract review and negotiation, insurance, investment management and financial planning. Since 1982, the expertise of their advisors has benefited physicians at over 300 medical centers, hospitals, and medical schools, which includes over 900 residency and fellowship programs, and has reached all specialties.
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