Patient Suing You in Small Claims Court?

It's important to thoroughly prepare your case for your small claims court hearing.

Risk Management

Patient Suing You in Small Claims Court?

Question: One of my former patients is suing me for $2,450 in small claims court. He's claiming that my treatment was unnecessary and possibly harmful. What should I do?


Answer: Contact us at 1-800-242-4052. We can talk you through the issues and assign an attorney to assist in your defense.

While some states don't allow a defendant to be represented by an attorney in a small claims action, others do. Either way, NCMIC will assign counsel to thoroughly prepare your case for the small claims court hearing.

While these courts may be informal, your case could involve complex issues of jurisdiction, rules of evidence or procedure, and statutes of limitations. That's where the assistance of an expert attorney can really come into play.

Your NCMIC-assigned attorney can deal with these issues and can also help you prepare your defense and gather expert opinions. Remember, if your own testimony is unconvincing, a judge might decide to award the patient a smaller dollar amount in an effort to compromise.

Unfortunately, as with malpractice cases, any payment made by an insurance company on your behalf – no matter how small – must be reported to the National Practitioner Data Bank.


The information in the NCMIC Learning Center is offered solely for general information and educational purposes. It is not offered as, nor does it represent, legal or professional advice. Neither does this information constitute a guideline, practice parameter or standard of care. You should not act or rely upon this information without seeking the advice of an attorney familiar with the specific legal requirements of the state(s) in which you practice. If there is a discrepancy between the site and an insurance policy you have with NCMIC, the policy will prevail.