What Happens to a Doctor After a Malpractice Suit?


If you are considering filing a medical malpractice lawsuit in Indiana, you might be wondering what could happen to the medical provider responsible for your injury after the suit. Could they lose their license and be forced to stop practicing medicine? Perhaps you know your doctor personally and worry that a malpractice lawsuit could ruin their career.

The Law Office of Kelley J. Johnson has provided this resource to answer some of your questions. Keep reading to learn more about the implications of a medical malpractice lawsuit and what happens to a doctor after a malpractice suit.

Why Should You File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?

Filing a medical malpractice lawsuit is a big decision. Medical malpractice cases can be complex, expensive, emotional, and time-consuming, so you should understand under which circumstances you should sue for medical malpractice before getting started.

The first reason to file a medical malpractice lawsuit is to pursue compensation for your injury and related losses. Many malpractice victims experience additional health complications due to their injuries. They must pay for expensive medical care, often while losing income due to time away from work. When you file a medical malpractice suit, you seek financial relief to reimburse you for the losses you suffered because of improper medical care.

Another compelling reason to file a medical malpractice suit is that it’s the ethical thing to do. If you suffered a preventable injury because of a medical professional’s negligent, careless, or otherwise harmful behavior, other patients of that medical professional could suffer, too. By suing for medical malpractice, you can hold the medical provider accountable and help others avoid similar harm in the future.

Do Doctors Lose Their Licenses for Medical Malpractice Lawsuits?

No, a doctor will not necessarily lose their license because of a medical malpractice lawsuit, even if the plaintiff is successful. Approximately one-third of all physicians have faced medical liability lawsuits at some point in their careers, but relatively few doctors lose their licenses altogether due to these lawsuits.

The purpose of a medical malpractice lawsuit is to compensate an injured victim, not to impose professional discipline on a medical provider. It is up to the relevant medical boards to decide whether professional sanctions like license revocation are appropriate.

When Do Doctors Lose Their Licenses?

Medical boards do not revoke doctors’ medical licenses as punishment. Losing a medical license is an extreme measure appropriate when a doctor’s behavior puts the general public at risk. For instance, a doctor might lose their license if they knowingly and intentionally harm their patients or behave so recklessly that their actions go beyond ordinary negligence.

A state medical board might consider a doctor a threat to society and revoke their medical license if it discovers any of the following:

  • The doctor was abusing drugs or alcohol on the job.
  • The doctor engaged in sexual misconduct on the job.
  • The doctor was guilty of extreme patient neglect.
  • The doctor repeatedly failed to meet the standards of care.
  • The doctor prescribed controlled substances in excess.
  • The doctor prescribed medications for no valid reason.
  • The doctor committed a felony or engaged in fraud.

However, losing a license is not necessarily the end of a physician’s career. A recent investigation by USA Today found that doctors often escape the consequences of professional discipline by packing up and moving to a new state. Many state medical boards lose track of problematic doctors who move between states; sadly, patients often pay the price for that.

Contact Our Indiana Medical Malpractice Law Firm

If you or someone close to you suffered avoidable injuries due to medical malpractice in Indiana, please contact the Law Office of Kelley J. Johnson for a free consultation. Our experienced Indiana medical malpractice law firm can help you find the best way forward.

Injured patients and their families need solid legal guidance after a serious medical error. At the Law Office of Kelley J. Johnson, we listen attentively to our clients’ questions and concerns. Our goal is to help them move forward after devastating, even fatal medical errors.