Everyone will need medical care at some point in their adult life. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control found that, in 2011 alone, over 82 percent of American adults had some interaction with a medical professional. For those who are lucky, a trusting relationship is built with a single physician, and in these cases, that person may actually grow to really like their doctor. Sadly, even in instances where doctors have great relationships with their patients, negligent mistakes can still happen. This is why every person should understand how they can go about suing a doctor, even one they really like, if necessary.
Understand how Malpractice Suits Work
Understanding how medical malpractice suits work can go a long way in helping you overcome any reservations you may have about suing a friendly doctor. The first thing to recognize is that most doctors carry medical malpractice insurance. They do this solely because there’s a chance that they could face a malpractice suit. Doctors understand that these lawsuits are likely to come from patients who they’ve been seeing for years, so if they make a mistake that causes serious injury to a patient, there’s no surprise on their end if there is a lawsuit filed against them.
Check State Laws
Feelings of guilt are obviously the main factor that could give you reservations about suing a doctor you’ve established a great relationship with, but in reality, a state may have certain laws that make it easier for a doctor to stomach a lawsuit.
If medical malpractice leads a person to experience a disability in the state of Michigan, for example, the state’s rule of “several liability” can reduce the amount of liability that a doctor faces, and thus how much his insurance must pay, if there was more than one person found liable for the injury. At the same time, the injured patient will still receive every dime of compensation that they’re entitled to. You would need to do a general search like Michigan medical malpractice law firm to get more information on the laws in your state.
One of the best ways you can avoid suing a doctor that you like is to know the doctor’s reputation before even becoming their patient. Doing a little research on a physician before choosing one can go a long way. Quick online searches can often uncover whether a doctor is prone to lawsuits. If they are, then that doctor should be avoided. This way, you will likely get better healthcare while ensuring that you don’t start liking a doctor who may injure you one day.
Additionally, it is important to fully understand a medical prognosis, which means being proactive in asking questions and doing the necessary research. Understanding your condition can go a long way since it will give you an idea of what the treatment should entail. This will allow you to make a smart decision on whether or not you should get a second opinion if you think your doctor might be making a mistake. Speaking with another physician to ensure appropriate treatment is much better than suffering an injury and then having to sue a doctor with which you have established a close relationship.
Having to sue someone that you like on a personal level can be upsetting and uncomfortable for fear of ruining a budding career or a successful practice, but luckily, it doesn’t have to be as disastrous as is likely imagined. In reality, a doctor has medical malpractice insurance for the express reason of protecting them if their patient is injured through medical negligence. Once a person understands this, it’s likely that some of the guilt will disappear. It’s simply important to remember: maintaining a friendly relationship isn’t often worth the financial and emotional costs related to a doctor’s mistake.
Sylvia Burley is a freelance writer who has heard tales of patients refusing to hold their doctor accountable for injuries that ultimately resulted in serious injury and even death. Should the unthinkable occur, understand your rights by educating yourself on the laws in your particular state using search queries like Michigan medical malpractice law firm to find legal resources.