How Doctors Can Protect Themselves From Lawsuits


If you’ve ever been the victim of medical malpractice, you’re likely aware that the physician involved won’t be held financially responsible if you don’t file a lawsuit with the help of a medical malpractice attorney Orlando, FL residents trust. Instead, the financial cost of your damages and pain and suffering fall on the hospital or medical group who employs the doctor, not on the individual doctor who caused your harm. When you learn how doctors protect themselves from lawsuits, you can gain insight into why this is so common a practice in medicine today and, according to our friends at David & Philpot, P.L., why it may not be your best option if you’ve been injured by a medical professional.

Use EMR (electronic Medical Records)

Doctors are required to maintain an electronic Medical Records system, which may be the most important way they protect themselves against a lawsuit. EMR systems allow doctors to write down what they did and when they did it, which helps them identify potential errors or oversights in their treatment. The records are usually securely stored on a server that is inaccessible to the public, so it would be difficult for anyone outside of the doctor’s office to tamper with them.

Ask Before Giving Orders

One of the most important things that doctors can do to protect themselves from lawsuits is asking before giving orders. Doing so will help you understand the risks and benefits of a particular treatment or procedure. If you are not sure about something, speak up! It’s better to get clarification than to make an uninformed decision that may lead to a lawsuit.

Create A Paper Trail

The first step in protecting yourself from a lawsuit is to create a paper trail. If the patient wants to take legal action, and you have an extensive list of everything that happened during the treatment, it can be invaluable in defending yourself against accusations. Doctors also need to make sure they are following best practices and doing all they can to avoid medical errors. Errors usually happen when doctors fail to do something or do something incorrectly.

Get Referrals

Doctors know that the best way to protect themselves from a lawsuit is by getting referrals from satisfied patients. If a patient has had a positive experience with the physician, then they are more likely to refer their family and friends to see him or her. Plus, it’s just polite for a doctor to be more receptive and accommodating when an established patient makes an appointment.

Document Everything

If you’re a doctor, one of the most important things you can do is document everything. You should keep careful records of your diagnosis and treatment methods, as well as any research or literature you find that might be pertinent to your case. You should also keep track of any complications that arise during the course of treatment so you can refer back to them if necessary. Of course, there are some instances when it’s impossible to know what happened with complete certainty, such as in emergency situations where someone dies from an injury.

Another way doctors protect themselves from lawsuits is by checking on their patients periodically after they leave the office. The follow-up visits may just consist of phone calls to see how they’re doing, but these brief conversations can prevent costly malpractice suits down the line. These follow up visits should also be document extensively.

If you are in need of a lawyer, contact a medical malpractice attorney today for help with your case.