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  • workers comp case

    A patient from a few years ago is suing their employer for the outcome they had in the hospital. I have been subpoena to testify. My hospital risk management has no advice for me. Any thoughts on how to approach it? At first i thought i could request a fee for my time, but after the subpoena i dont think thats possible.

  • #2
    Did you see the patient, I’m assuming? I’d probably just read my note and tell them I don’t remember anything else from the encounter as that’s probably the truth.

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    • #3
      Call your malpractice insurance.
      But yeah you can't really charge them if you're a fact witness on a subpoena

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      • #4
        You should have real legal advice on how to proceed with the subpoena. I am sure they did not randomly pick your name out of a hat. Most malpractice carriers provide services for these issues. I would not rely on your hospital , because I am sure they are looking out for their best interests first, not yours

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        • #5
          Just to clarify. I was the attending of record on the case.

          I spoke to my risk management department and they said no need to speak to a lawyer(even after i specifically asked). Maybe I will just read straight from the notes and call it day

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          • #6
            Call your malpractice carrier and ask for their advice

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Random1 View Post
              Call your malpractice carrier and ask for their advice
              For sure!

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              • #8
                I wouldn't do a subpoena without my lawyer present at all times (and had reviewed beforehand together). The hospital should provide the lawyer for you.

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                • #9
                  Are they suing the hospital? If so, the hospital’s risk management team is going to be useless for you since your goals won’t be aligned.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by CordMcNally View Post
                    Are they suing the hospital? If so, the hospital’s risk management team is going to be useless for you since your goals won’t be aligned.
                    Right. Bdoc being (appropriately) vague which is what your malpractice atty will suggest, not discussing case with random internet people in case of deposition. Unclear what suing the employer for hospital outcome means exactly but odd that hospital lawyer not at least suggesting you call malpractice lawyer...

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                    • #11
                      I have been subpoenaed on 2 orthopedic work comp cases where the patient was suing their employer after a poor medical outcome and I was at least one of the treating physicians. I did charge the requesting lawyer for my time, both for chart review and for deposition appearance. I did not use a lawyer for my deposition, which mostly consisted of confirming and clarifying what I documented in the chart. The only thing the hospitals did for me was to make copies of all my records for my personal review.
                      If the plaintiff/patient is not suing you or the hospital you work(ed) for, then you should be able to handle this on your own. Both depositions took just over an hour, but less than 2.
                      (You can PM me if you want).

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                      • #12
                        I would call your malpractice carrier. They will give you advice about your situation.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Hatton View Post
                          I would call your malpractice carrier. They will give you advice about your situation.
                          Agreed

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Bdoc View Post
                            A patient from a few years ago is suing their employer for the outcome they had in the hospital. I have been subpoena to testify. My hospital risk management has no advice for me. Any thoughts on how to approach it? At first i thought i could request a fee for my time, but after the subpoena i dont think thats possible.
                            I was recently subpoenaed for a deposition. Fm . Charged 250/hr to attorney who deposed me.
                            I did reach out to my malpractice attorney and asked for some tips as it was my first depo. Also looked up stuff on line. Basically just stick to the facts, don’t give your opinion . Opinions should be left to medical expert. Example. One of the attorneys asked me “do u think x injury was caused by the fall”. I said I cannot answer as I’m only here to answer questions about what occurred during the encounter I had a thr pt

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                            • #15
                              It is often a good idea to have legal representation when you get involved in a lawsuit, even if you are not currently a party. Typically, your malpractice provider will review the situation and provide representation. I know of one case where a physician took care of a trauma patient after a serious car accident. Initially, the case was brought against the driver of the other car.

                              The physician went to testify after a subpoena as a non-party medical witness. This was done without the representation of an attorney. The doc thought that he did not heed an attorney as he was not being sued. Certain things were said during the deposition that brought some of the medical care into question. The physician ended up getting dragged into the suit after the deposition. Be careful when you decide to testify without legal representation. If there is any remote risk, it is best to be represented by an attorney, and the malpractice carrier will typically provide this free of charge. That is why you pay those hefty malpractice premiums.

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