What to Do (or Not Do) When Sued by a Patient

July 27, 2023

Reading time: 2 minutes

In this article, chiropractors will learn what they should do (and not do) if they are sued by a patient for malpractice. These tips will guide you and help you know what steps to take when facing a lawsuit.

Key Concepts

  • What to do when sued by a patient
  • What not to do when sued by a patient
  • How to prepare for a malpractice lawsuit

As a chiropractor, it is important to know how to best protect yourself and what could be used against you if a patient accuses you of malpractice. Malpractice lawsuits can be overwhelming and frustrating. That’s why it’s important to be prepared with clear, practical steps to take in the event of a lawsuit. While every situation is unique, and you should always consult with your legal counsel, here are some general tips to follow during a chiropractic malpractice lawsuit.

What to Do if You’re Sued for Malpractice

  • Notify your insurance carrier as soon as possible after you receive notification of a lawsuit.
  • Be cautious about continuing to treat the patient.
  • Preserve your records pertaining to this patient. Keep the records in a secure and safe place.
  • Gather a support group of friends and family and consider speaking to a mental health professional if necessary.
  • Continue to practice following the chiropractic standard of care.

What Not to Do if You’re Sued for Malpractice

  • Discuss the details of the lawsuit or the care of the plaintiff in a public setting, including on social media, even if they are posting or talking about you.
  • Contact the plaintiff to discuss the claim/case.
  • Alter, add to, or modify your records in any way.
  • Investigate the case on your own.
  • Release any records or files unless instructed to do so by your attorney.
  • Go out in search of an attorney. Legal representation will be provided to you by your malpractice insurance carrier.
  • File anything with the court on your own in response to a lawsuit.

It is crucial to contact your insurance carrier immediately upon receiving notice of a lawsuit against you. Preserve all records pertaining to the patient who has made the claim or filed the lawsuit against you. Never alter these records. That includes adding, removing, or changing anything in your records. Altering records will make things worse in the long run.  

Reliable malpractice insurance from a trusted carrier is crucial to better defend yourself against a malpractice lawsuit. ChiroPreferred offers industry-leading chiropractic malpractice insurance and an expert claims team that you can count on to protect your good name. To learn more or get a quote today, click here.


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This document should not be construed as legal or medical advice and should not be construed as rules or establishing a standard of care. Because the facts applicable to your situation may vary, or the laws applicable in your jurisdiction may differ, please contact your attorney or other professional advisors if you have any questions related to your legal or medical obligations or rights, state or federal laws, contract interpretation, or other legal questions.

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