Members of various professional associations, including lawyers and doctors, can find themselves facing the daunting prospect of a malpractice suit. Whether the suit is justified or not, being confronted with the situation can make a business professional fear for their career and their business. If your business is facing a malpractice suit, it is critical to follow a structured course of action in order to protect professional reputations and the business’s well-being as a whole. Let’s take a look at what a business should do if it is facing a malpractice suit.
What to Do If Your Business is Facing a Malpractice Suit
First thing is first, if anyone in the business is being sued for malpractice, notify your insurance carrier. Timely notification is vital as insurance carriers can deny coverage if the lawsuit is not reported promptly. Furthermore, malpractice insurance carriers usually offer educational materials that can help you better understand how the process is going to go and how you can take certain steps to protect yourself. In addition to notifying your malpractice carrier, you should be sure to notify your risk management department if you have one in your business.
This is also a good time to be incredibly mindful of the conversations you are having. After all, facing a malpractice suit can be an emotionally charged experience and that can lead to unproductive and damaging outbursts and comments made on the suit and the basis of the suit. It’s normal to feel a wide range of unpleasant emotions when you are facing a malpractice suit. You may be angry. You may fee depressed. You may feel isolated. Despite these feelings, try to push through to maintain your perspective and your well-being. Focus on protecting yourself and know that this will include continuing to try and lead a balanced and normal life. Seek support from friends, family, or professional counselors to help manage the emotional toll of the situation.
In the midst of a malpractice suit, you and your business colleagues should also consider taking steps to prevent future malpractice suits from arising. Prevention is often the best strategy when it comes to these things. For instance, you may want to reconsider how you select which clients you are going to take on. Before you sign on a client, really consider if this is someone you want to work with. Assess their potential for disputes, unrealistic expectations, or a history of litigious behavior. Some of these things can be properly managed, but sometimes they cannot. Better to decline a case than risk a future lawsuit.
You may also want to revamp your office’s workflow systems. Do your systems ensure constant communication and follow-through with your clients? Do you have protections in place so that you avoid missing deadlines? How is your document and file management system working out?