How To Improve Your Defense In Your Medical Malpractice Case
One of a doctor's major expenses is medical malpractice insurance. The cost of medical malpractice insurance varies based on the doctor's specialty and the location. Medical malpractice insurance for obstetrics in Florida exceeds $200,000 a year. However, medical malpractice insurance for internal medicine in California is just over $8,000. If you lose a medical malpractice case, the cost will go up significantly. Therefore, you'll want a strong defense if you encounter a medical malpractice case. Learn more about how to improve your defense in your medical malpractice case.
1. Keep Organized Records
It's important to keep detailed records of all documents related to each patient, including medical documents and agreements, especially if the document has the patient's signature. Every patient should have a unique file organized in a larger file cabinet. There should be a digital copy of the information, too. If the court asks you to produce a document, the court will default against you if you fail to locate it.
2. Communicate Effectively
When something happens to a patient under your care, you will look better if you tackle the situation proactively instead of ignoring the problem until a patient complains. When a patient does complain, it's important that you address the situation as quickly as possible.
3. Include Disclaimers In All Paperwork
You will provide patients with paperwork throughout your time caring for them. Sometimes, the paperwork will include a diagnosis and/or treatment plan. You will be held responsible for your findings, and it's especially incriminating when printed on formal documents. Protect yourself by including disclaimers in the paperwork. The disclaimers will tell patients that they have the right to get a second opinion. Your diagnosis is based on the medical data available to you at the time but cannot account for unknown symptoms or medical history.
4. Err on the Side of Caution
As a doctor, you will run into gray areas. When possible, go on the offense in these situations. Assume the worst to protect yourself in case someone tries to sue you for a missed diagnosis. Order extra testing when the situation calls for it. Of course, you will need to communicate with the patient if the extra tests will cost more. The patient will have to tell you whether they want to move forward or not. If they decline additional testing, get the patient to sign a waiver.
Contact a medical malpractice defense lawyer for more information.