Do you need a physical therapist disclaimer? Becoming a physical therapist is a long and tedious process requiring advanced health and human anatomy education. While this field of medicine covers an expansive range of techniques, the intention of all physical therapists is the same: to relieve pain and improve mobility. While the end goal may be the same, how each physical therapist gets their patient there differs, so it is important for physical therapists to outline patient expectations and restrict legal liability. But how should you do this?
In the technology-consumed world, most first impressions of a business come from the business’ website. Here, owners can provide prospective clients important details about services, location and hours, and expectations. Managing client expectations is essential because it sets the stage for a professional relationship and can provide a measure of protection, especially when you include a disclaimer on your website. But what is a disclaimer, and how can a physical therapist utilize one on their website?
What is a disclaimer?
A disclaimer is a declaration or document meant to exclude or restrict a person’s or company’s legal liability. Disclaimers put the other party on notice of the expectations of the relationship and assist in guaranteeing some level of legal protection in case something goes wrong. These are frequently brief statements that expressly restrict liability if specific events occur and are seen on websites or within contracts. It is important to note that disclaimers can be modified to fit a plethora of situations and business needs, so it’s crucial to know which kind is applied in your industry so you can be protected. Learn about other website disclaimers here.
What should I include in my disclaimer as a physical therapist?
If you are a physical therapist and considering including a health disclaimer on your website, you should include one of the most important disclaimers: “You should consult your doctor before starting any fitness program.” This statement lets potential clients know they should seek medical advice before new fitness training. This protects you if your client later says their doctor never approved the fitness regime because you can show that you advised them to check beforehand.
Another important disclaimer you could include on your websites is “You should alert your physical therapist of any known health concerns that could affect your fitness plan.” You should consider having this statement in your disclaimer as a physical therapist because it shifts the burden to the client to tell you of any underlying conditions that could impact the success of the fitness plan. This helps protect you from a client stating that the plan created for them acerbated a medical issue because if you aren’t made aware of the situation, how can you plan for it?
Learn more on this youtube video about health disclaimers.
Should I include a disclaimer on my website as a physical therapist?
If you offer advice on health or fitness, you should consider having a disclaimer on your website. Although it is not required, a health disclaimer could protect you legally if you provide any advice that is averse to the client’s health or contrary to professional medical advice. A health disclaimer on your website would also be beneficial if you provide free advice through videos, blogs, etc., on your website. If a non-client follows your direction, a disclaimer would help guard you legally if something went awry.
Overall, although it is not necessary to have a disclaimer on your website, it would provide you and your business with a higher level of protection, and they are easy to create and customize.