Legal Background

 It is curious as to why the attorney took this case in the first place. Mrs. K suffered no permanent injury, so the damages, if any, were extremely limited. Many plaintiffs’ attorneys are paid on a contingency basis (they get a percentage of the winnings, if any), so most would not take a case that did not have at least the potential for significant damages.

Protecting Yourself

There was little that Dr. M could do to protect himself other than what he did do. He spent time explaining the procedure to the patient. He spoke to her about the known risks. He documented their conversation.

When one of those known risks came to pass, the damage was repaired and no lasting harm or permanent damage was caused to the patient.

Just because an adverse event happens does not mean that someone is always at fault. Unfortunately, patients often assume that if something goes wrong, someone should be blamed.  Such patients usually are able to find an attorney who will take on the case.

Dr. M did everything necessary to protect himself. Had he not spent the time explaining the risks and benefits of the procedure, and most importantly, writing down that he had done so, he might have had a more difficult defense. As with almost all of these situations, careful note taking and record keeping is essential in protecting yourself from lawsuits, and while they cannot always protect you from being sued, they can help you avoid being on the losing end of a malpractice suit.