The simple answer here is yes. While you are not required to hire a lawyer to defend yourself, you have to ask yourself what your career and professional reputation mean to you. Are they something that you would ever want to risk? If the answer is no, you need to hire an experienced medical license defense attorney.
The Texas Medical Board and its Investigation Process
Once the Texas Medical Board receives a complaint, it can begin its investigation. An investigator can immediately begin poring over the details of your personal and professional life.
If you have been notified that a complaint was filed against you, it is time to act. Delaying action is one of the worst things that any professional can do in this situation. A lawyer can help you begin forming your defense immediately.
Usually, the first step is to send a response letter. Your lawyer will respond to the initial inquiry, pushing back against the complaint and showing that you are a professional in good standing. In some cases, our initial letter can be enough to get the complaint dismissed outright. If we can show that the complaint was frivolous or the board determines the complaint isn’t within their jurisdiction to handle, the process is done.
Sometimes, the initial letter is not enough to get the complaint dismissed. However, at the very least, the letter from your medical license defense attorney can get the scope of the investigation narrowed a bit. From here, the case often progresses to an informal settlement conference after being referred to the Litigation Section. When this happens, it means that a board investigator believes that you have acted in a manner inconsistent with public health and welfare. It’s a serious accusation.
At an informal settlement conference, a professional can make their case to multiple board members, attempt to address the issue, and reach a settlement, if possible. If an informal settlement conference does not settle things, a professional needs to make their case in front of an administrative law judge from the State Office of Administrative Hearings. At this point a path forward will be decided on, whether that’s a dismissal of the complaint or a punishment for the professional who has had a complaint filed against them.
Why you Should Hire a Lawyer
Hiring a lawyer is not required, but one can help you fight for the best possible outcome at every stage of the investigation. Even if their initial letter does not result in a dismissal of the complaint against you, a lawyer can help guide you through the rest of the investigation process.
Your lawyer can prevent you from making mistakes during your informal settlement conference or your evidentiary hearing in front of the administrative law judge. They can help you gather evidence to show that you are a consummate professional who takes the rules and regulations set out by the Texas Medical Board seriously.
Punishments from the board can vary. You could receive a written warning or even have your license revoked if things do not go your way. There is no reason to risk your professional reputation. Hire a medical license defense lawyer.
Contact Us Today
If you have been notified that the Texas Medical Board is investigating you, do not delay. Your career and livelihood are on the line. Call our Austin law offices at (512) 476-5757 and learn more about how we can help you throughout the entire investigation process. A medical license defense attorney from BERTOLINO LLP is ready to help you form your defense.