If you believe your doctor is unlicensed, contact a medical malpractice law firm in Cleveland, Ohio, to discuss the matter. Having a licensed physician performing your can be frightening enough. What if you found out an unlicensed physician was treating you? Sounds scary, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, it’s happened.
It could be something as simple as a licensed physician forgetting to renew his or her credentials, causing a lapse in licensure. Or, it could be something as blatant and dishonest as an ordinary person pretending to be a doctor in order to take advantage of people, either financially or sexually. Whatever the reason, practicing medicine without a license is considered medical negligence and it is not treated lightly by the court of law.
Penalties for an Unlicensed Physician
Acting as a physician without a license is illegal in all 50 states. It can result in serious criminal and civil penalties. Criminal penalties can include steep fines, as well as up to five years in prison. A patient harmed by the unlicensed physician can also sue for civil damages. In Ohio, practicing without a license is a felony of the fifth degree, according to the Ohio Revised Code.
In a medical malpractice case, negligence must be proven in order for a patient to receive compensation. Failure to provide proof of licensure is strong proof of negligence. If the doctor was once licensed, but forgot to renew his or her license, the health care facility can also be held liable for allowing the doctor to continue practicing medicine without a license.
In addition, knowingly practicing medicine without a license is akin to fraud. If the unlicensed physician had intended to be deceitful, then punitive damages could possibly be collected as well. Punitive damages punish the offender by forcing him or her to pay additional penalties for extreme cases of deceit and fraud that caused serious injuries to the patient.
How to Proceed
Because practicing medicine requires a license, an unlicensed physician should be brought to the attention of local authorities right away. Delaying the arrest of such a criminal allows the person the opportunity to provide fraudulent services to some other unsuspecting victim and possibly cause harm. The unlicensed physician should also be brought to the attention of the state’s medical board. The board can investigate the case and figure out how the situation occurred.
It is important to know that if a person performs medical treatment on someone without receiving compensation for his or her services, then it is not considered practicing medicine, of which the person cannot be charged with a crime. It is when the person requires some sort of compensation for his or her medical services that the person can be charged with medical negligence and performing medical services as an unlicensed physician.
Contacting a Lawyer
We trust our doctors and put our health and well being in their hands. Being defrauded by an unlicensed physician is a serious crime, which is why the penalties can be severe. You do not need to be injured by the unlicensed physician in order to file a claim for medical negligence.
If you believe you received medical treatment and other services from an unlicensed physician, seek legal representation to discuss the issue. Practicing medicine without a license constitutes medical negligence and is punishable by the law. Mellino Law Firm is a medical malpractice law firm in Cleveland, Ohio, that can review your case and discuss your legal options. Contact them today at (440) 333-3800.