How Do Medical Malpractice Claims Affect Physicians?

A gavel with a stethoscope with the words, how does medical malpractice affect physicians.

Any mention of medical malpractice is detrimental to a medical practice office or a hospital. News of this sort can be a major deterrent for potential patients and even cause established clients to leave and look for another office in fear that they are receiving inadequate care. There are a lot of negative consequences that come with a medical malpractice claim and lawsuit, but patients aren’t the only ones affected by these consequences. This article tackles the question, how do medical malpractice claims affect physicians?

Loss of Patients

Patients are the heart and soul of any medical practice and hospital. Without them, the doctor would have no source of income and would have to either leave the profession or find a new practice. When a medical malpractice suit is brought against a doctor from a particular office or hospital, it not only affects the doctor in question, but it affects the office as a whole. New and established patients will find themselves losing trust with the doctors in that office because the medical malpractice claim will make them anxious or nervous that the same treatment could be given to them. This also affects patients who continue to use that office or hospital because they may begin withholding information about their symptoms in fear that it will result in a similar treatment that the malpractice fell under. This can lead to a doctor not being able to accurately pinpoint what is causing the patient discomfort or what the source of their illness is. When this is the case, it can lead to the worsening of conditions or another lawsuit.

Increase Cost of Health Care

Medical malpractice lawsuits lead to higher insurance premiums for doctors and nurses. This results in the doctors themselves having to up their fees as they try to offset the cost. In turn, this may turn business away from their office and leave patients looking for another, more affordable location to get help. Doctors who have been affected by the negative aftermath of a lawsuit against their office or hospital may need to move to a different state or specialty in order to avoid the rising premiums. They will most likely, like the patients, be searching for an area with more reasonable costs.

While this does affect the doctors, this increase in cost also negatively affects the patients of that area as well. This leads to them having limited access to good health-care and may cause them to delay getting help. It’s a no-win situation for both the patients and the doctors.

Defensive Medicine

A Doctor examines a patient's injured knee.The practice of defensive medicine is a direct response to medical malpractice. With the threat of a possible lawsuit, doctors and nurses often order additional tests or perform procedures that are not necessary but are expected by the patient. This ensures that they keep the patient happy and avoid a potential lawsuit. While this may protect the doctors, it does lead to an increased cost in resources because they begin to get used up at a quicker rate.


Seeds of doubt are extremely hard to un-sow. When an idea forms in one’s head, it tends to stick around even when evidence is shown to prove the idea otherwise. Doctors who are nervous about a potential lawsuit usually begin to doubt their own abilities. This may negatively affect their performance and lead to the patient not getting the care that they need. A doctor may even end up leaving the practice of medicine altogether if they think the risk of a lawsuit is too high.

Medical malpractice has damaging effects that last long after the court case is settled and finished. This is it is essential to call the dedicated team of Branch & Dhillon to discuss your case. Branch & Dhillon is a free consultation and no-win, no-fee law firm that guarantees that our clients are well taken care of. We take each individual case and piece together the evidence to help you claim the compensation you deserve. This helps protect the people of our medical field and the patients from unneeded lawsuits. Call the medical malpractice attorneys at Branch & Dhillon today.