It 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 Approximately 70 percent of claims are dismissed, dropped, or withdrawn.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.
Do not change any medical records or attempt to investigate the allegations on your own. While it may seem tempting to discuss the lawsuit with any other medical staff that could be involved in the lawsuit to get their input on the claims the patient is making, leave these steps to your medical malpractice attorney to address.
Under Illinois law, if any adverse action is taken against a doctor, they are required to report that action to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) within 60 days of being notified. Failure to report can lead to additional disciplinary actions in addition to whatever penalties may be involved in the original charge.
The Medical Practice Act requires self-reporting for the adverse action taken by:
Another licensing body
Peer review body
Professional association or society
The Act also requires self-reporting for any medical malpractice allegations filed against you.
Self-reporting and any investigation by the board is a separate action from the malpractice lawsuit. It also requires a different type of attorney than the one that will be representing you in your malpractice case. You need an attorney who is experienced and skilled in professional medical license defense cases.
Contact an Illinois Professional License Defense Lawyer
If you have been notified of a medical malpractice lawsuit filed against you, do not delay in contacting a Chicago medical license defense attorney. Time is of the essence in these cases. Call Williams & Nickl, LLC at 312-335-9470 to schedule a free and confidential consultation.