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The Anatomy of a Lawsuit

The Anatomy of a Lawsuit


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Timothy E. Paterick, MD, JD, MBA, and Elizabeth P. Ngo, MD
 
Litigation is a physician’s nightmare—disruptive to a physician’s personal and professional life. Physicians feel personally and professionally attacked. Even if a physician prevails at trial, the victory is lost in the devastating emotional cost of alleged liability, and ultimate victory can feel like defeat. No amount of advance knowledge or preparation can alleviate the anxiety and emotional toll of the litigation process; however, knowing the nuisances of the litigation process helps a physician endure and navigate the process. Every medical practitioner should read this article, which takes you through a lawsuit process. The journey through this lawsuit will affect how you practice medicine. It also will give you a new respect for the importance of meeting the standard of care on every patient you encounter in medical practice.