A recent Arizona lawsuit ruled in favor of a woman who claimed that she was sexually molested by an endocrinologist during an examination. This kind of medical negligence lawsuit is unfortunately not pursued often enough by patients who experience molestation at a medical care provider’s hand.
Inappropriate contact by a doctor is not only a violation of the personal trust you place in a medical care provider. It’s harassment, it’s against the law, and it can constitute medical negligence. Unfortunately, victims often feel scared, pressured, and guilty and can be encouraged not to disclose their abuse to others. This leads to underreporting of sexual abuse by doctors and a failure to pursue prosecution and litigation.
Though sexual harassment and inappropriate sexual contact can be pursued in criminal court, you also have the right to sue your doctor for medical negligence in a civil court. If you can prove that negligence occurred and that it caused you quantifiable harm, you could receive a settlement or verdict for a considerable sum of money. The validity of your claim will depend on your actions during and following the incident, so be sure to write down your memories of the incident as soon as possible if one does occur and report the incident as soon as possible to the manager of the office and the proper authorities.
Though you might be afraid that the doctor will force you into a “your word against his” situation, you can relax if you hire an experienced medical negligence attorney. Your lawyer is there to support you, to believe in you, and to get you justice before a jury of your peers. Not only could you receive compensation for your emotional and physical pain and possibly see the offending doctor’s license revoked and/or see punitive damages be awarded, but by suing an inappropriate doctor, you help protect future victims by getting his behavior on the record and preventing it from happening again.
The woman chose to remain anonymous during her lawsuit. If you’re interested in filing a lawsuit anonymously or not, you should talk to a South Carolina medical negligence attorney as soon as possible since state statute of limitations could restrict the amount of time you have to file.