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shutterstock_754376389-min.jpgIt is estimated that one in three physicians will have at least one medical malpractice lawsuit filed against them during their medical career. In the majority of claims, the patient does not prevail in their lawsuit. Approximately 70 percent of claims are dismissed, dropped, or withdrawn.

Even when a medical malpractice case does not result in action against the doctor, it can still have a significant impact on his or her professional career, including investigations by the Illinois Medical Board. This is why it is critical to take any legal action against you seriously and move quickly in seeking legal assistance.

What to Do if You Are Notified You Are Being Sued

If a patient files a medical malpractice lawsuit against you, the first thing you need to do is refer that patient to another professional if asked. It is estimated that almost 10 percent of physicians being sued by a patient for malpractice continue to treat that patient for other issues.


shutterstock_695671243-min.jpgThe month of December is one of the busiest for many people. The holiday season usually means get-togethers and parties with family and friends. If you are a professional, there are often many festive business gatherings scheduled during this time that not only gives you the chance to socialize with business colleagues but can also be significant networking opportunities.  

Many of these social events, whether personal or professional, involve the serving of alcohol. Having a couple of drinks at a holiday party may seem innocuous enough – until you are driving home and suddenly see the blue lights flashing behind your vehicle, signaling you to pull over. Not only can a drunk driving conviction affect your right to drive, but it can also affect your ability to practice your profession. Drunk driving is considered a crime of moral turpitude and under Illinois law, professional license holders face professional license suspension if convicted of one of these crimes.

What Are Crimes of Moral Turpitude?

While the law is very specific on the penalties of what will happen to an individual if they are arrested or convicted of a crime of moral turpitude, it is not specific on what exactly the definition of one is. Generally, the courts have held that a crime of moral turpitude is one that is contrary to the morality and norms of society, that goes against the duty that is owed to others, that is vile and offensive, and that shock a reasonable person. A crime of moral turpitude is one that puts an individual’s judgment, morals, character, and ethics in question.


shutterstock_1087209695.jpgThe arrival of Thanksgiving is typically the kickoff to the holiday season. This often means family gatherings, get-togethers with friends, and holiday parties. These events are also a popular time to drink. The number of drunk driving arrests and accidents spike this time of the year. Any driver who has been arrested for drunk driving faces harsh consequences if convicted, but those consequences are even more significant for a professional license holder.

DUI Penalties

In Illinois, any driver operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher is legally considered driving under the influence. A first DUI offense is charged as a Class A misdemeanor. If convicted, the driver will lose their driving privileges for one year. They also face fines, court fees, and other expenses.

There are certain circumstances where a first-offense DUI can result in an aggravated DUI charge, including causing a crash that results in great bodily injury to others. An aggravated DUI is charged as a Class 2 felony. Not only will a conviction result in an extended driver’s license suspension, but there is also the possibility of a three- to seven-year prison sentence.


shutterstock_1917306185.jpgMost physicians are aware of issues that can result in serious legal trouble, including actions taken against their medical license. Some of the more common issues include patient negligence, insurance fraud, and substance abuse. One surprising issue that can end up causing significant ramifications is advertising. Just like other businesses, many doctors find it beneficial to engage in different types of advertising in order to grow their practice, however, there are crucial factors that physicians should follow in order to avoid legal issues.

Truth in Advertising

Up until 1977, physicians were not even allowed to advertise. Ironically, it was a U.S. Supreme Court decision (Bates v. State Bar of Arizona) that finally allowed attorneys to advertise that opened these doors for doctors. Although not many doctors initially took advantage of this new avenue to attract patients, over the past four decades, physician advertising has become more commonplace.

One of the most critical factors a doctor needs to adhere to when advertising is to be truthful. Be truthful about what your level of medical expertise is and do not try to appear to specialize in an area you do not have education, training, or experience. If you are advertising a specific treatment or procedure you offer, do not guarantee results unless your practice has had a 100 percent success rate.


shutterstock_1720779988-min.jpgThere are many words in the English language that sound similar but have different meanings. In most cases, the confusion may only to the necessity of clarification. However, in some situations, there could be legal implications if the definition of each word is not understood. For example, in medical malpractice, a doctor can be accused of a missed diagnosis or a misdiagnosis. While those two words sound very similar, there is a definite difference in how a doctor would defend their Illinois medical license if they were accused of either one.

How Are Patients Diagnosed?

When a patient goes to a doctor with a health issue, the doctor takes the necessary steps to determine what medical condition or illness the patient has. This is usually done by examining the patient, running any necessary tests, analyzing the results of these tests, and comparing these results to what the doctor knows. Ideally, the doctor comes up with a diagnosis. If it turns out the diagnosis is wrong and the patient undergoes unnecessary medical treatment and/or becomes sicker, the doctor could be accused of misdiagnosis.  

In situations where the patient goes to the doctor, complaining of symptoms, but the doctor fails to diagnose what is wrong with the patient, that is referred to as a missed diagnosis. This can lead to the illness becoming worse because of the delay in treatment.

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