Updated April 1, 2024

Malpractice Suits Against Doctors FAQs

Can Doctors Be Sued for Malpractice?

Yes! Doctors can be sued for malpractice. Medical malpractice cases are complex and can be lengthy. But don’t let this deter you from pursuing a medical malpractice lawsuit. 

Talk to the experienced medical malpractice attorneys at WKW about seeking compensation for your unnecessary pain and malpractice procedures. Whatever the situation may be, we will take a look at your case to see if you have a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Do Doctors Lose Their Licenses for Malpractice Lawsuits?

Not automatically, a medical malpractice lawsuit does not directly affect the status of a doctor’s medical license. Even if the doctor is found liable for negligence, revoking a license is a different process determined outside of civil court.

Why File a Malpractice Lawsuit If the Physician Can Still Practice?

A medical malpractice lawsuit is typically not intended to revoke a medical license. Instead, the lawsuit is meant to ensure the victim receives compensation for any harm or injuries caused by the doctor’s negligence.

When Do Doctors Lose Their Licenses?

A doctor is most likely to lose their license to practice in two different scenarios: If they are deemed a threat to society or if their behavior is so negligent and reckless that it goes beyond ordinary negligence allegations.

Physicians are found to be a threat to society when it can be proven in court that they intentionally hurt or tried to hurt a patient. To move forward with a claim, victims need to provide a substantial amount of evidence to prove that their injuries were not a result of the typical negligence alleged in a malpractice case. The same goes for determining that a physician was extremely reckless.

It’s possible that a physician’s medical license could be reinstated after it’s been revoked. If doctors do get their licenses back, they may face probation, practice limitations, or other legal consequences. All of this is determined by the state’s medical board, not in the civil suit.

Can a Nurse Lose Their License for Negligence?

Nurses can lose their licenses for a number of reasons, including:

  • Falsifying records
  • Behaving unprofessionally
  • Abusing a patient
  • Neglecting a patient
  • Not making a mandatory report when necessary 

Even if a nurse’s conduct is unintentional, their license can be revoked. Unlike a doctor losing their license in extreme cases, it is much easier for a nurse to lose their license as the result of unintentional malpractice.

What Happens to Doctors Guilty of Malpractice?

Medical malpractice is damaging to a doctor’s professional reputation. First and foremost, medical malpractice lawsuits can irrevocably damage a patient’s trust in their doctor. New patients may be wary to start seeing the doctor and existing patients may want to change practitioners. 

When existing patients do remain under the doctor’s care, the environment may be stressful because of distrust, which could lead to patients withholding information that might be pertinent to a diagnosis. When distrust is present, patients and the doctor alike can be extremely nervous. 

Doctors who have been found guilty of malpractice will often take extra precautions while treating patients. Although this can be seen as a positive, the patient’s costs can also go up. The doctor may perform tests that may not be necessary other than to verify their actions. This practice of defensive medicine can make costs rise. 

Additionally, doctors guilty of medical malpractice will also have higher insurance premiums. This increase to a doctor’s insurance may also cause an increase in cost for the patient as the doctor strives to balance costs. 

All in all, when we are asked the question “How does a malpractice suit affect the doctor?” the answer is, quite a lot. Their professional reputation can be severely affected, and that is on top of the financial repercussions, especially if they lose the case against them. In many cases, a doctor’s financial compensation to the victim will be covered by their insurance policy, but that usually means they have to pay more for insurance going forward.

What Happens If You Lose a Malpractice Case?

If you lose your medical malpractice case, there is a chance that you will have to pay the defendant’s legal bills. This can be a big financial strain on you, the plaintiff. 

However, if you do lose, there is the potential to appeal the decision. In the case of an appeal, the plaintiff must show that the trial court made a mistake(s). 

If you think an appeal could be an option in your medical malpractice case, it’s important to work with an experienced medical malpractice attorney. The legal jargon, trial court, and appeals process are all difficult terrain. Medical malpractice lawsuits are complex. And one of the hardest parts is finding a qualified attorney to represent you. 

Remember, an attorney must be able to prove the medical provider’s negligence. When you work with a medical malpractice attorney at WKW, we can help you build a strong medical malpractice case so you get the justice you deserve.

How Often Do Doctors Get Sued for Medical Malpractice?

As it turns out, suing for medical malpractice isn’t so uncommon. According to a Medscape survey, about 60% of respondents claimed they’d been sued at least once in their careers. And for doctors over age sixty, that 60% rose to 80%. In other words, by the time doctors reach retirement age, nearly all of them have been sued for malpractice at least once.

While those percentages are undeniably high, only about 3% of those claims make it to court. Plaintiffs either settle outside of court, withdraw, or are dismissed by the court.

Contact a Medical Malpractice Attorney Today

If you—or a loved one—have been a victim of medical malpractice, you are urged to contact our attorneys here at Wilson Kehoe Winingham. An experienced Indianapolis medical malpractice lawyer at WKW can help you get the compensation you deserve.

Call 317.689.0654 or fill out our online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

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