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4 steps for medical professionals when patients threaten to sue

As a medical professional, you know malpractice suits can be time-consuming, not to mention potentially costly. They can also damage your reputation and cause a great deal of stress and anxiety.

When a patient alleges wrongdoing, it is crucial to remain calm and take prompt action to safeguard your interests and reputation. If this is the first time you have ever faced a possible medical malpractice claim, here are some essential first steps to consider.

Take the threat seriously

Many litigation threats never escalate, but that does not mean you should ignore the matter and hope for the best. Even if you believe the allegations are unfounded, you should give the situation the gravity it deserves.

Find out the specifics of the complaint and start looking for evidence (medical records, etc.) that can refute the patient’s claims.

Set up legal protection

Consider consulting a legal representative with a background in medical malpractice defense. You may feel you should wait until you receive a formal lawsuit notice, but it is generally better to obtain protection early.

Waiting too long gives you less time to work on your defense if the threat becomes a reality.

Go into silent mode

Everything you say and do after a patient threatens a malpractice claim can impact your defense. Often, the urge to explain yourself to others or even apologize as a show of empathy can be powerful.

Resist the temptation to talk about the matter to anyone other than your counsel, and never admit fault or liability.

Increase your knowledge

While waiting to see if the matter escalates, consider learning how medical malpractice claims work in New York. Accurate knowledge of the law can prepare you to meet any challenges you may face during your case.

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