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Top 5 Questions About When to Sue a Doctor

By George Khoury, Esq. on March 03, 2017 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Suing a doctor or hospital for medical malpractice or negligence is no simple task. Doctors, hospitals, and insurers have pushed lawmakers hard to limit when medical professionals and institutions can be held liable for injuries to patients. However, despite all the limitations, legitimate medical malpractice claims arise at an alarming frequency.

Below you'll find the top 5 questions individuals have about when they should sue their doctor or hospital.

1. Can You Sue a Doctor for Lying?

If your doctor lies to you, you may have a malpractice claim based on a lack of informed consent. Essentially, you have the right to make an informed decision about your medical care. If your doctor lies to you, you will not be able to make that informed decision. If you are injured as a result of a procedure performed on you when you did not provide informed consent, you may be able to sue.

2. Can You Sue a Doctor for Withholding Information?

Similarly to suing your doctor for lying, if a doctor or hospital withholds pertinent information, and as a result, you suffer an injury, there is a potential malpractice claim. However, in addition to cases that involve informed consent, withholding information can result in claims stemming from delayed treatment and/or a failure to diagnose.

3. Can I Sue a Doctor for Patient Profiling?

Patient profiling occurs when medical professionals assume that a person suffers from a certain condition because of their personal characteristics, such as race or ethnicity. While this may not rise to the level of malpractice, it could still be the basis of a civil rights lawsuit depending on the egregiousness of the conduct and your state's civil rights laws.

4. Can I Sue for Hospital Negligence?

While normally individuals associate malpractice with individual doctors, it is important for potential claimants to know that the hospital and other staff members can also be liable under the same or similar legal theories as their doctor. In some situations, hospitals can be liable for malpractice while the actual treating doctor is not.

5. Can You Sue a Doctor for Molestation or Sexual Assault?

Yes, and in addition to suing under the typical civil laws that allow individuals to sue for assault and battery, if the doctor used their professional status, or medical treatment, to aid in committing the assault, then there may be medical malpractice claims against both the doctor and hospital.

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