Lawsuits can be devastating to an individual or business. Facing a lawsuit can eat up a professional’s time and resources, cause significant distress, and potentially end their career if the suit is successful. Certain professions are sued more than others. What measures should they take to protect themselves?

Attorney

Even though attorneys represent people in lawsuits, they are prone to be sued themselves. A majority of lawyers will be sued for malpractice at some point in their careers. This is especially true for solo attorneys.

Lawyers are most often sued after losing a case, but a loss on its own is not enough to warrant a lawsuit for malpractice. A number of reasons exist why lawyers might be sued. They may have been negligent, missed a deadline to file paperwork, or violated client-attorney confidentiality. To protect themselves, attorneys should retain their own lawyers and purchase liability insurance.

Physician

Doctors often face malpractice suits. Over 33% of physicians find themselves in legal trouble at least once in their career. The chance of being sued is even higher for certain specialists such as neurosurgeons, obstetricians and others.

A physician may face a malpractice suit for failing to diagnose or treat a patient, not getting the proper consent for a procedure, or causing injury to a patient. Purchasing medical liability insurance is paramount in protecting a physician from incurring severe financial losses from a lawsuit.

Even if a malpractice suit does not result in loss of licensure, it can cause significant emotional and financial stress. To mitigate the potential for lawsuits, physicians should work to establish positive relationships with patients, keep up to date with medical advances, and document everything they do.

Accountant

Accountants are often a target for lawsuits. When a client’s financial situation changes, or if a client declares bankruptcy, their lawyer will often prompt them to sue their accountant. Many accountants are also sued by a third party such as the client’s lenders and shareholders.

Accountants should take preventative measures to avoid lawsuits. Every agreement between the accountant and the client should be documented. Verbal agreements should be confirmed over email. If an accountant does get sued, it’s important for them to carry errors and omissions insurance and retain their own lawyer.

The best way for a professional to deal with a malpractice suit is to take steps to prevent it from occurring in the first place. However, people in these types of professions are likely to get sued even if they’re doing everything in their power to protect themselves. Preparation for lawsuits is absolutely necessary in these professions.

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