Facing a malpractice lawsuit can be a daunting and traumatic experience for healthcare practitioners, with most clinicians naïve to the legal landscape. It is crucial for physicians to know and understand the malpractice system and his or her role once challenged with litigation. We present part II of a two-part series addressing the most common medicolegal questions that cause a great deal of anxiety. Part I focused upon risk-management strategies and prevention of malpractice lawsuits, whereas part II provides helpful suggestions and guidance for the physician who has been served with a lawsuit complaint. Herein, we address the best approach concerning what to do and what not to do after receipt of a legal claim, during the deposition, and during the trial phases. We also discuss routine concerns that may arise during the development of the case, including the personal, financial, and career implications of a malpractice lawsuit and how these can be best managed. The defense strategies discussed in this paper are not a guide separate from legal representation to winning a lawsuit, but may help physicians prepare for and cope with a medical malpractice lawsuit. This article is written from a US perspective, and therefore not all of the statements made herein will be applicable in other countries. Within the USA, medical practitioners must be familiar with their own state and local laws and should consult with their own legal counsel to obtain advice about specific questions.
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