Like other medical professionals, podiatrists must occasionally contend with malpractice lawsuits from patients. Below, we explain common negligence cases against podiatrists so professionals can understand the source of most liability lawsuits and try to avoid them.
Surgery is a common source of malpractice claims against podiatrists, specifically surgery the patient later feels was unnecessary and harmful. While podiatrists are experts in relieving foot, ankle, and toe pain, the complexity of bones and ligaments makes it difficult to determine the source of discomfort.
Due to this, multiple surgical procedures are sometimes necessary to finally relieve the source of discomfort for a patient. This can be frustrating, especially if multiple surgeries still don’t fix the problem. Patients may feel they were misled to agreeing to an unnecessary surgery or weren’t informed of the risks or alternative treatment options. Therefore, they seek damages for their pain and discomfort.
As we mentioned, many common negligence cases against podiatrists involve surgery, with surgical complications at the top of the list. Every surgery comes with inherent risk, and even the most basic procedures can result in unintended complications and consequences. Considering most podiatry surgeries are elective procedures, patients are more likely to seek restitution if they feel they wasted money on a procedure that didn’t deliver the results they wanted.
Like all surgeons, podiatrists can also be liable for complications postsurgery if the postoperative care is insufficient. With every surgery, postoperative care is critical to the patient’s health and the procedure’s success, but it is also a prime area for complications. Infections, nerve damage, and other pain and discomfort are not uncommon postoperative complications, especially with foot surgeries. If any of these complications arise from a lack of postoperative care, the podiatrist could be liable.
Like all doctors, podiatrists are also liable if they misdiagnose. As we mentioned, diagnosing the source of pain or discomfort in a person’s foot, ankle, or toes is difficult, even for the most skilled and experienced podiatrists. If a podiatrist makes a misdiagnosis by not performing the correct evaluation, ordering the wrong tests, or outright failing to diagnose the underlying issue, a patient could seek damages via a malpractice suit.
Where To Get Malpractice Insurance for Podiatrists
Clearly, there are plenty of opportunities for podiatrists to be liable, which is why malpractice insurance is critical for every podiatrist. If you need liability insurance as a podiatrist, Baxter & Associates is a malpractice insurance agency with years of experience connecting medical professionals with professional liability insurance providers. Browse our services and get a quote for a malpractice policy on our site today.