Every doctor is dedicated to helping others, but not everyone is ready to reward this hard work with praise. Whether your fault or not, patients and loved ones may sue you for medical malpractice. If this is the case, you can be severely financially impacted. To protect your investment so you can continue to help people, check out these four facts you should know about medical malpractice.
You Need Professional Liability Insurance
Professional liability insurance is one type of business insurance similar to product liability insurance. Businesses that provide a product by manufacturing it or selling it typically have product liability insurance. If the product is defective and causes injury, the product liability insurance pays for the costs associated with a lawsuit.
Not all businesses provide products, however. Some provide services. These include doctors, attorneys, CPAs, etc., but anyone who provides a service can benefit from this insurance. When doctors purchase professional liability insurance, it is also known as medical malpractice insurance, and it protects you if someone decides to sue you for negligence, neglect, etc. Typically, doctors are required by law to have malpractice insurance.
There Are Two Types of Malpractice Insurance
There are two types of malpractice insurance from which to choose: occurrence coverage and claims-made coverage. Occurrence coverage is the most desirable but also the most expensive. It is preferred because coverage is based on when the malpractice occurred. Therefore, even if you no longer have coverage, if the malpractice happened when coverage was active, you are covered.
Claims-made coverage is less expensive, and it is based on when the claim is made. Therefore, even if the occurrence happened during the policy period, you may not be covered. For example, if you had coverage between January 1st and June 30th, the claim must be submitted during that time. If a patient submits the claim in November for an incident in March, the claim will likely be denied.
Your Actions Don't Have to Be Considered Maliciously Dangerous
Some doctors may act maliciously dangerous, causing a patient unnecessary harm, but for the most part, doctors promote healing. Unfortunately, you don't have to be malicious to be found guilty of medical malpractice. Professional liability insurance is also often referred to as errors and omissions insurance because it also covers simple mistakes. Even something as harmless as forgetting to mention one treatment option may be considered an error or omission.
You also don't have to actually cause a patient's death to be sued for medical malpractice. The patient's attorney simply has to show that whatever you did or didn't do caused the condition or symptoms to worsen. Similarly, if they can show that your actions caused a misdiagnoses or mistake that lead to a delay in treatment.
You Should Hire an Attorney
You'll need an attorney if you are being sued for medical malpractice because even with medical malpractice insurance, these types of claims can drastically affect your career. An attorney can help reduce the settlement or even have the entire case dismissed by proving you were not at-fault. An attorney can also help if your medical malpractice insurance provider is refusing to pay.
While any attorney can provide basic information regarding medical malpractice, your best choice is to get an attorney who specializes in medical malpractice. Any case involving injuries can become costly, especially if patients claim pain and suffering. An attorney from firms like Lee Eadon Isgett Popwell & Owens will fight to expose false claims and have inflated settlements reduced.
Every doctor needs medical malpractice insurance. Not only is it required by law, but it provides financial help if you are sued. If you would like more information about medical malpractice lawsuits or if you have a pending lawsuit, contact a medical malpractice attorney in your area today.Share
23 May 2018
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