medical lawyers

What is a Medical Practice Lawyer and When Do You Need One?

No matter what type of medical practice you were in, such as solo practice, group practices, employed physician practices, or others, you will have to deal with a medical practice lawyer. A medical practice lawyer is a lawyer who specializes in the medical branch of law. This branch of law concerns the prerogatives and responsibilities of medical professionals and the rights of their patients. This branch should not be confused with medical jurisprudence, which is the branch of medicine, rather than branch of law. The main branches of medical law or the law of torts, commonly known as medical malpractice, and criminal law in relation to medical practice in treatment. 

Consumer Law Help from a Medical Practice Lawyer

Just like any business that is based off of customers, those in the medical field must comply with all FTC requirements for advertising, product quality and other consumer issues. However, there are specific medical consumer laws that must be applied for this professional field. Those specific consumer laws are the following: 

Consent – Every time a medical physician performs a procedure on a patient for the first time, they first need to obtain informed consent. Every state has certain requirements for what constitutes informed consent, but generally any informed consent discussion should include information about: 

  • The nature of the proposed treatment, including necessity, probable prognosis, procedure length, recovery time and cost 
  • Any commonly excepted viable alternatives, including specialty treatments and the likely consequences of choosing no treatment 
  • And finally, a disclosure of any foreseeable risk of the proposed procedure 

As well as offering the informed consent information, a medical physician must be sure to answer any questions and then get an informed consent form signed. Consent is implied if the patient is made aware that a recurring procedure will be occurring, but these requirements vary based on state law.

Medical Patient Rights – If you are a member of an association or state licensing board who has a set patient rights statement, you are held to its tenets as a matter of consumer law. Violation of such will leave you open to sanctions and lawsuits. Most rights statements consist of standards based on reporting, records and care. 

HIPAA – The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act set the standard for protecting sensitive patient information. As one conducting a medical practice, your patient records are subject to HIPAA, which means that any physical or digital records must be protected with proper safeguards. Records of and information regarding to patient diagnosis and treatment must be kept strictly confidential except when given written permission to disclose that information to others such as an insurance provider. For information on how to properly protect your information of your patients, contact a Medical Practice Lawyer. 

Medical Malpractice and Clinical Negligence – When a medical physician is determined to have failed in following the generally excepted standard of care for treating a patient, they can face a medical malpractice lawsuit. Typically, malpractice lawsuits follow nerve injuries, failure to diagnose, and unnecessary or wrongful treatments. Clinical negligence lawsuit can be costly and complicated cases to resolve. If you may be facing a dental malpractice suit, it may be extremely important to consult a Medical Practice Lawyer immediately. However, payouts should ultimately be covered by malpractice insurance. For more information on malpractice insurance, contact a Medical Practice Lawyer. 

Cases by a Medical Practice Lawyer

Just like other lawyers, a medical practice lawyer can both defend the healthcare provider in question of a malpractice lawsuit and can also represent the injured patient, but obviously not at the same time. If you have been injured by a medical error, you’ll want to hire what’s called a plaintiff’s lawyer. However, keep in mind that an experienced Medical Practice Lawyer will be the best type of plaintiffs’ lawyer or you could have for your particular case. If you are running a practice and I’ve had a medical malpractice lawsuit filed against you and your practice, hiring in the same type of lawyer, a Medical Practice Lawyer, will help protect you and prove that you tried your best to give your patient the proper treatment and advising that they needed. With an experienced Medical Practice Lawyer at your side, you will have a much higher chance of winning your case.   

Matt McWilliams

Matt has over 10 years of legal writing experience. He's worked and written for legal websites for serval websites including Truskett Law, Bruner Law, Jeffrey & Erwin, Gary Crews, PLLC., Deposition Academy, and Wagner & Lynch.