Studies show that most Americans have positive views of medical doctors in general, and they especially like and trust their own doctors. Unfortunately, doctors are human and can make mistakes, some of which can seriously harm and even kill their patients. Most of the time, those mistakes are due to human nature or genuine accidents, but some of them are due to negligence.
Patients who are harmed by their doctors often face long and expensive roads to recovery. They may need to go on expensive medications, or they may need surgeries to correct the injuries they suffered and to undergo physical rehabilitation to regain lost function and mobility. These patients often have every right to file medical malpractice claims, but they’re hesitant to do so because they don’t want to cause trouble for their doctors.
If you or someone you love was harmed by your doctor’s actions and you’re wondering what will happen to him or her if you file a lawsuit, this blog can help you better understand the implications for doctors who are accused of malpractice.
Most Doctors Have Been Sued for Medical Malpractice At Least Once
No doctor wants to be sued for medical malpractice, but it’s something that many doctors will face at some point during their careers. Around 50% of doctors who practice until they’re at least 55 years old will face at least one medical malpractice lawsuit.
If you sue your doctor for medical malpractice, you won’t be doing anything that’s completely unexpected from their perspective. In addition, certain doctors are more likely to be sued than others. General practitioners are far less likely to be sued than surgeons, as general practitioners’ mistakes are often less damaging than those made by surgeons.
Doctors Have Medical Malpractice Insurance to Protect Themselves and Their Practices
Doctors who work for hospitals and healthcare clinics are usually required to opt into their hospitals’ insurance policy or purchase their own medical malpractice insurance to protect themselves and the organizations they work for if they’re sued. In addition, most doctors who own private practices are also insured against medical malpractice claims.
That means that if you sue your doctor, he or she is unlikely to be required to pay for your damages out of pocket. Instead, his or her medical malpractice insurance will cover your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other malpractice-related expenses.
Your Doctor Is Unlikely to Lose His or Her License—Even if You Win Your Claim
Most medical malpractice claims settle out of court. That means that the issue is usually between patients, their lawyers, and their doctors’ or hospitals’ insurance companies. In these cases, there’s no admission or verdict of guilt on the doctors’ or hospitals’ behalf, and that means that doctors usually don’t face any disciplinary action.
And even when medical malpractice claims are elevated to lawsuits that are heard in court, doctors who are found guilty of medical malpractice by juries are still unlikely to lose their licenses. However, they may be investigated by the Oklahoma Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision, and they may receive disciplinary actions. Patients can look up their doctors using the search function at www.okmedicalboard.org to find out if they’ve had disciplinary actions taken against them in the past for malpractice.
Your Needs Come First After a Medical Malpractice Injury or Illness
When your family has been seeing the same doctor for years, the idea of suing your doctor can seem like a bridge too far—even if you desperately need compensation for your medical bills and lost wages after a preventable injury or illness. But unless you pursue compensation through the legal system, you’ll be forced to pay for your own expenses. And even if you have health insurance and disability insurance, you’ll still pay likely pay a large sum out of pocket.
Insurance exists specifically to act as a buffer between liable parties and the damages they’re required to pay the people they harm, and medical malpractice insurance is no different. However, if you decide to pursue a malpractice claim against your doctor, it’s essential to have an experienced Oklahoma medical malpractice lawyer on your side due to the complexity and difficulty of these claims.
Let Us Handle Your Medical Malpractice Claim
At Parrish DeVaughn Injury Lawyers, we know that medical malpractice claims are difficult for many reasons. Not only are do they require significant evidence to prove in court or to obtain a settlement, but they also require taking legal action against people that our clients often have good relationships with.
When you get our firm on your side, we’ll handle your claim with the sensitivity and dedication it requires. Trust our years of experience and knowledge of Oklahoma medical malpractice laws to get the job done for you and your loved ones. Contact us today for a free consultation.