Doctors Suing Patients for Bad Online Reviews

Some doctors will sue a patient if he or she leaves an online review that reflects poorly on his or her services or practice or when a patient appears to engage in a form of defamation that casts a negative light on the professional. In these situations, the patient may go to court to defend against the lawsuit and pay thousands in legal fees.

The Effect of a Bad Review

When a person leaves a bad review about a business online, it could impact the company or professional in a negative manner and impact the revenue the individual earns from the local community. It is possible that the review may also cause current patients to leave the service of the doctor. The professional physician may sue for these effects alone, but the local community may turn against the doctor. The smaller the location, the greater the impact to the individual is felt when a single review is put online for the professional. Then, he or she may hire a lawyer and initiate a claim.

Multiple Bad Reviews

Some patients are so angry after visiting a doctor that they post multiple times or across multiple platforms. When this happens, the doctor may collect the data and pass it on to a lawyer for a valid civil suit. The effect of multiple bad reviews may cripple the business of the individual doctor or the entire practice with numerous professionals. The impact of such actions could cost the professional his or her business or lead to a professional review where the individual suffers a license suspension for the reviews and comments of a single or multiple patients.

The False Negative Review

Some individuals go online to post fake reviews to either divert business from a professional or to cause harm to the person or practice. These matters usually require the services of a lawyer to stop. If the fake review remains online, it may cause more damage until a remedy removes the information. Some competing professionals will engage in these matters and cause chaos and economic harm to a professional or a business practice. The fake review may also exist in multiple sites with damaging reviews that contain false information. This could also lead to a defamation case against the culprit.

Criminal Charges

If a bad online review also consists of threatening and damaging information against the professional, the doctor may seek justice. The threatening material may explain possible harm to the doctor or harassment that continues unless legal support helps him or her seek a remedy to the situation. The perpetrator may face criminal charges for threatening words, harassment and continued activity. Some may even go as far as physically assaulting the doctor which could lead to a conviction through the courts that penalizes the person with fines or possible prison time. This requires assisting with a criminal investigation with a prosecutor.

The Claim and Other Processes

If the person that left the bad review online engages in communication with the doctor, it is possible to resolve the conflict outside of the courts. This could lead to mediation or a negotiated settlement or another remedy in which both parties are in agreement. This could lead to the removal of the bad review and an honest review of the services or demeanor of the doctor in its place. This may boost the reputation of the professional and provide a more positive online discussion about the services. These outcomes are often entirely dependent on the doctor involved.

If the doctor is adamant in pursuing a legal claim through litigation, the person that left the review may need to hire a lawyer to defend against the matter in the courts. The medical professional will usually hire a lawyer to initiate the claim and to help him or her determine the best route to take to receive either a remedy or compensation for the problem. The online review generally harms revenue from patients as well as his or her reputation and could result in a long legal battle between the two parties.

The Doctor’s Lawyer for a Legal Claim

Depending on the path the doctor wants to take, he or she will usually hire a lawyer to first understand the options and then to pursue one to the case’s conclusion. With a legal claim, the doctor may collect data online with the bad review and about his or her experience with the patient for the court’s review.

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Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication at the time it was written. It is not intended to provide legal advice or suggest a guaranteed outcome as individual situations will differ and the law may have changed since publication. Readers considering legal action should consult with an experienced lawyer to understand current laws they may affect a case.

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