I recently read that roughly 70% of physicians who were confronted with a medical malpractice lawsuit claimed it came as a complete surprise. When taking into account that you would generally only find out about accusations of malpractice once a summons has been delivered to you, avoiding the unfortunate situations is hardly a solid tactic to protect your income and the future of your career as a physician. Luckily, skilled medical practitioners are able to take advantage of the ultimate peace of mind that comes with medical malpractice insurance policies. Physicians Thrive provides informative details and specifics on tailor-made policies that would be most beneficial for physicians who are concerned about potentially crippling accusations.
Since I’m always full of questions, I thought I would look into it, as I didn’t know what to do as the patient let alone the doctor, so I did my research and looked into both. So how does a doctor protect themselves? Here’s how;
An Insurance Policy That Can Save Your Career
There are various types of policies that physicians should consider. However, when shopping for the perfect policy it is recommended to look out for exclusions specified in the policy details. Exclusions can include sexual misconduct, dishonest and criminal acts, any acts committed under the influence of illegal substances and alcohol and others. As with any insurance policy, it is crucial to determine the terms and conditions of the policy details to best protect yourself from unfortunate events in which you may not be covered. Most policies usually include two limits; annual limits and individual limits. In the case of individual limits, each claim would be applicable. Once you have assessed policy details and settled on appropriate coverage, medical malpractice insurance can essentially protect the future of your career.
How To Handle A Summons
Receiving a summons can be overwhelming for understandable reasons. However, it is crucial to deal with the situation professionally. You should contact your malpractice carrier immediately by contacting either your broker or your agent, simply informing that you have been sued while refraining from releasing any details regarding the case. After informing your carrier it is crucial to avoid speaking about the situation with anyone. Time is of the essence once you have been handed a summons, which means that you should have an attorney respond within a maximum of 30 days after receiving the summons. Your response will be the first defence in the case. Releasing any information regarding the case could put both your reputation as a professional physician as well as the case in jeopardy. As you will have no protection in situations where you have decided to speak “off the record” or “informally” it is best to avoid doing so at all costs.
Rather than attempting to search your records to identify the possibility that you have made an error in hopes of adding details to the record, you should remain calm. Even though it may seem somewhat natural to want to protect yourself it would be wise to avoid editing records in any way as this would simply have a notably negative impact on your case. It would be wise to allow the legalities of the matter to take their course while remaining calm. The protection offered by a medical malpractice policy will likely help you through the unpleasant situation and get back to your career sooner than you may expect.