License, Career, and Best Interests
Texas Physical Therapist License Defense And Representation / Counsel
Physical Therapy Defense Attorney
Texas Physical Therapists facing any type of investigation or complaint by the Texas Board of Physical Therapy Examiners or, or any local, state or federal law enforcement, or any state or federal regulatory agency may be subject to a license probation, suspension or revocation. A Texas Physical Therapist (PT) or Occupational Therapist (OT) may be terminated from their current position or kept from any future employment unless the investigation is dealt with immediately and proactively.
Do I Really Need an Attorney?
PLEASE KNOW AND UNDERSTAND THAT IT DOES NOT MAKE YOU LOOK GUILTY TO HAVE AN ATTORNEY.
If you are being investigated or questioned by either your current employer or any agency, hiring an attorney is the smart thing to do. Attorney representation is not a requirement by the Texas Board of Physical Therapy Examiners but in today’s world with all of the federal and state laws, rules and regulations that govern the physical therapy occupation, it is very important for a physical therapist to seek experienced legal counsel to ensure that their rights are preserved. After all, your Texas Physical Therapy license may be on the line and so is your livelihood.
To reiterate, it does not make you look guilty to have an attorney. You can inadvertently make statements against your own personal interests without realizing you are doing it. You should do everything in your power to protect your rights as the Texas Board of Physical Therapy Examiners is not there to do that for you. You need an advocate on your side to ensure that you are protected.
Remember that the Texas Board of Physical Therapy is an administrative agency, and even though they may appear to be there to represent you, their main purpose is to regulate the practice of physical therapy and protect the public. In other words, blindly answering questions without proper guidance, could potentially affect your ability to continue your current livelihood as a physical therapist. Again, a Texas Physical Therapist should have an attorney familiar with professional license defense, who can advocate and protect their best interests, their license and career.
If you are licensed by the Texas Board of Physical Therapy Examiners and any of the following scenarios apply to you, contact Eyler Law Offices at (214) 540-7750, to seek legal counsel and protect your license.
- A Texas Board of Physical Therapy Examiners or any investigator (including law enforcement agencies, hospital police, or your human resource representative) contacts you and wants to discuss a complaint filed against you;
- Texas Board of Physical Therapy Examiners investigator requests to conduct a telephone interview of you regarding a complaint filed against your Physical Therapists or Occupational Therapists license;
- Your Texas Physical Therapy License has been suspended and you need guidance understanding the terms and conditions of getting it reinstated;
- An actual formal investigation is pending against your license with the Texas Board of Physical Therapy Examiners;
- A hearing is scheduled before the Texas Board of Physical Therapy Examiners and is due to a complaint filed against your license;
- You are planning to self-report (or someone has told you to report) to a Texas Board of Physical Therapy Examiners for Alcohol/Chemical Dependency;
- The Texas Board of Physical Therapy Examiners has asked you to sign a Consent Agreement, Consent Decree, or an Agreed Order and you need help understanding the terms and conditions and how the document will impact your Physical Therapists license and your Physical Therapist career;
- You received a letter from your current or past employer or colleagues requesting you to “self-report” an incident to a Texas Board of Physical Therapy Examiners or;
- The Texas Board of Physical Therapy Examiners requests you to provide a written statement to the Board regarding the allegations in a complaint filed against you;
- You were terminated from your employment and informed that you are being reported to the Texas Board of Physical Therapy Examiners allegedly violating the Texas Physical Therapy Practice Act and/or Board rules/regulations.
Again, if you have been contacted by the Texas Board of Physical Therapy Examiners and/or local, state, or federal enforcement, or your employer, and you are being “encouraged” to admit responsibility, liability or guilt to any act, or confess to criminal conduct, it is very important for you to seek legal counsel.
MOST IMPORTANTLY: IT IS IMPERATIVE FOR YOU TO INVOKE YOUR RIGHT TO LEGAL COUNSEL AND CONTACT AN ATTORNEY BEFORE YOU ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS OR PROVIDE A WRITTEN STATEMENT TO YOUR EMPLOYER, LAW ENFORCEMENT OR ANY REGULATORY AGENCY, AND/OR THE TEXAS BOARD OF PHYSICAL THERAPY EXAMINERS.
Any criminal conviction, regardless of the level of the offense i.e. misdemeanor or felony, or whether it was committed on or off the clock, will more than likely have an extremely negative impact on your Physical Therapists or Occupational Therapists license and career.
Accused of Substance Abuse or Diverting Narcotics?
At Eyler Law Offices we provide legal representation to nurses in a variety of situations. If you are accused of diverting drugs from a Pyxis machine, Diebold, or other brand of automated pharmacy dispensing machine, please contact Eyler Law Offices at (214) 540-7750, immediately.
We are often contacted by Physical Therapists and other licensed (certified) health care professionals, who have been falsely accused of diverting narcotics, abusing narcotics, or stealing narcotics from patients and/or their place of employment. It is not uncommon for a Physical Therapists or Occupational Therapists or any health care professional to be accused of a substance abuse problem or diverting narcotics. It is a charge that should be taken very seriously. We have represented Physical Therapists or Occupational Therapists who have been fired by their employer and reported to Physical Therapists or Occupational Therapists or to local law enforcement for criminal prosecution. Even if no criminal charges were filed the report can cause problems for Physical Therapists or Occupational Therapists with the Texas Board of Physical Therapy Examiners or Texas Board of Occupational Therapy Examiners and you still have your Physical Therapists or Occupational Therapists license to protect.
Texas Board of Physical Therapy Investigations
Before a Physical Therapist should accept a settlement offer or proceed to any nursing board hearing, they need to consult with an attorney who knows how to handle occupational license defense cases. A Physical Therapist should only proceed forward into such hearings after they fully understand the process and have an idea of what lies ahead for their physical therapy license and career. A Physical Therapy license is usually one’s livelihood, and for many Physical Therapists it is the only marketable skill upon which they rely on for employment. Every Physical Therapist should be prepared to defend their license by finding an experienced and aggressive attorney who will help them do so. At Eyler Law Office, we will be by your side taking you through every step of the process.
A Physical Therapist who is under investigation or who is accused of any criminal activity, even a misdemeanor, may potentially face a nursing board investigation. Criminal convictions that seem unrelated to physical therapy practice still may create licensure problems for nurses. Some criminal charges such as theft, shoplifting, forgery, criminal mischief, criminal trespass, assault, or driving under the influence (DWI), may seem minor but can create permanent professional damage.
At Eyler Law Office we are equipped to handle both sides of the matter, the criminal proceeding and the administrative/regulatory side with the Texas Board of Physical Therapy Examiners. Keep in mind that many criminal lawyers who advise a nurse to accept a plea agreement or deferred adjudication may not be experienced enough to counsel or advise a nurse on how a plea agreement can impact a physical therapy license or the future of your physical therapy career. Any plea agreement, whether it is a probation or deferred adjudication, could potentially trigger a Texas Board of Physical Therapy Examiners investigation and potential disciplinary action and/or suspension or revocation of your physical therapy license. Eyler Law Offices is highly qualified in handling both the criminal investigation/case and the nursing board complaint and/or investigation. With Eyler Law Offices handling both sides of your case you can feel confident that your rights in both the criminal and the administrative/regulatory case with the Physical Therapy Board will be fully protected. Call us at (214) 540-7750, or email us to discuss your case.
HIPAA – Privacy Violations
Federal HIPAA violations, state privacy laws and institutional policies all address patient privacy rights. Physical Therapists or Occupational Therapists accused of violating these rights can potentially face legal problems that could involve adverse employment actions, civil lawsuits, nursing board disciplinary action or even criminal charges. Some typical scenarios involve when a nurse inappropriately accesses and/or discloses personally identifiable health information. All physical therapists should be ever vigilant to know and understand privacy policies for caring for high profile patient cases, celebrities or co-workers as patients, or any type of patient case.
HIPAA Violations And Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, …)
Another huge potential liability for Physical Therapist is the inappropriate use of social media and social networking. A Physical Therapist should never take photos or write any personal information about any patient on Facebook, Twitter, or any other internet web site for that matter. If a patient posts something on their Facebook or Twitter account, a Physical Therapist should not take this to mean that the patient is waiving his/her privacy rights. And Physical Therapists should not “friend” patients on Facebook or respond to any patient postings as this too can get a physical therapist into trouble with the Physical Therapy Board. Physical Therapists need to keep in mind if they participate in any social media, the information travels very wide and far and becomes a permanent piece of information that can come back and haunt them for the rest of their career.
If you are a Physical Therapist who has been accused of a HIPAA privacy violation, it is important for you to immediately seek experienced legal counsel who is experienced in this very intricate area of law. At Eyler Law Office, we have the experience to help Physical Therapists with any potential legal issue. Call us at (214) 540-7750, or email us for a free initial consultation.
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