3 Actions That Dentists Can Take To Avoid A Patient Instigating Court Proceedings

3 Actions That Dentists Can Take To Avoid A Patient Instigating Court Proceedings

For all the dentists who own a dental practice, thankfully, very few things would create an existential threat to your business. One could be not taking steps to market your dental practice to attract new patients and that business then suffering a decline until its demise. Another might be your landlord suddenly deciding that they want the commercial building your dental practice leases for another purpose.

There is a third way in which your dental practice might be under threat: if a patient decides to start legal action against you. There can be many reasons they might do so such as treatment not working, an accident occurring while they are on your premises, or feeling discriminated against in some way.

Before going any further, we are not for one second suggesting that you or those working in your dental practice would ever act in a way to cause these to occur. However, not every legal case instigated is justified, and you would not be the first dentist who has been sued for nefarious reasons by a disgruntled patient who has more money than sense or morals.

The risk can come in several ways, whether the legal action is justified or not. If you were to lose the case, there could be financial penalties which, unless your business has plenty of cash reserves, could place it in financial peril. Worse could be the bad publicity that might arise, especially if the question of your dental practice’s professionalism and competence were placed in question.

We are sure you agree none of what we have described is pleasant or desirable, but thankfully there are three actions you can take that can prevent all of it, which you will discover if you continue reading.

Retain The Best Commercial Lawyer You Can Afford

Logic states that if this article were about actions to take to promote oral health the first action stated would be to visit a dentist for advice. This speaks to the fact that the professionals who have knowledge and experience in any area are the ones to approach and that applies especially to legal matters relating to your dental practice.

Yes, commercial lawyers do charge fees, but those fees will seem like chicken feed compared to any potential losses should a legal case end in defeat because you have no or inadequate legal representation. Also bear in mind that your lawyer’s advice will help you avoid legal problems before they can arise.

Ensure You Have Sufficient Insurance Cover

Insurance is one of those things that exist in both the business and personal world that most people loathe paying. Perhaps it is because they know they will only ever see a return on their insurance premiums if something goes wrong such as a car accident in the case of car insurance or house fire in the case of home fire insurance.

As for your dental practice, the main insurance types we imagine would apply to avoid being taken to court for anything untoward happening would be public liability insurance and professional indemnity. They cannot stop issues from occurring, but what they can do is protect your dental business from a costly court case by being able to settle with the other party via your insurance company before it goes to court.

Seek To Resolve Any Dispute Amicably

The third action we suggest might prove to be the hardest of all three. Here we are talking about the potential of you having to swallow your pride and placing your total justification for defending yourself and your dental practice, to one side.

Often, agreeing on a settlement with the other party, even if you know they are unjustified in the claim against you, and resolving the matter before it ever goes to court with obvious caveats about confidentiality and non-disclosure, is the wise solution, even if not the fair one. It might feel painful, but not as painful as the bad publicity that could arise if you choose to battle it out in court.