The Medical Malpractice Liability Crisis:
Polls show that the biggest concern for doctors is the rising cost of malpractice insurance and malpractice lawsuits.
- Jury awards continue to rise regionally and nationally;
- Doctors have a one and four chance of being sued each year;
- Frivolous lawsuits are filed in record numbers and increase with each passing year.
Lawsuits Brought Against Doctors Have Been Defined by Some as “Legalized Extortion”:
US tort law and the plaintiff’s attorney lobby have created a system and culture where lawsuits are too easily brought and rewards abuse by lawyers and clients who have a lottery mentality.
Having a High Amount of Malpractice Insurance Will Protect Me.
Having a high amount of malpractice insurance makes suing you more lucrative to the attorney. So paradoxically, by purchasing more insurance, you make yourself more vulnerable to lawsuits.
How Does a Medical Malpractice Attorney Decide to Sue You?
When you carry a large policy, lawyers who seek to be efficient do not want to take the time and trouble going to trial. Instead, they would rather negotiate a settlement with the insurance company. Because defending a claim still incurs legal costs, the insurance companies have an incentive to settle thereby driving up the cost of insurance.
In addition, Virginia Medical Board Determinations are Public Record and Assist an Attorney in Establishing a Case Against You.
What is the Outlook on Medical Malpractice Underwriting Review and Costs?
Medical Malpractice Insurers cannot in the future count on investment gains to offset underwriting losses due to the increase of claims and payouts.*
Insurers must be even more “…disciplined” in terms of the amounts of “…coverage and pricing.*
*Source: Insurance Information Institute
Medical Malpractice Tort Costs Continue to Increase!
“According to a 2011 report by Towers Watson, since 1975, when medical malpractice insurance data were first separated out from other types of liability, medical malpractice cost increases have outpaced other tort areas, rising at an average of 10.0 percent a year, compared with 7.5 percent for all other tort costs. Regardless of whether a case is won or lost, going to court is expensive..” Source: Insurance Information Institute
What about the Virginia Medical Malpractice Cap?
The Virginia Malpractice Claim Cap is set at 2.15 million for 2014 and 2015.
Malpractice Insurance Does Not Cover Every Type of Lawsuit
Juries have awarded multi-million dollar judgments when attorneys have successfully argued that that doctors were responsible under personal injury claims not under the typical medical malpractice claim theory. Most medical malpractice insurance policies do not cover personal injury claims committed by a doctor.
The facts are that Doctors can no longer depend entirely on Medical Malpractice Insurance to cover them personally and must start self protecting themselves and their families.
J.S. Burton can assist Doctors in protecting their personal assets from liability by using special asset protection strategies that will protect and preserve their personal assets.
Please contact the law firm today to establish an asset protection consultation.