Making mistakes is a part and parcel of life. It’s something that we are taught to accept and wear like a badge of honor. Unfortunately, for doctors, even seemingly trivial mistakes can lead to serious repercussions. While in other professions routine blunders can be shrugged off for being “part of the job”, slip ups that happen during surgical procedures and at the doctor’s office can lead to life and death situations.
This is perhaps the leading cause of why doctors are sued more than any other professionals. In fact, according to The American Medical Association, as much as 34 percent of all doctors claim that they have faced a lawsuit at some point in their careers. For physicians above the age of 55 that percentage increases to 49.2. That means nearly half of all practicing doctors above the age of 55 get sued by their patients. According to other statistics by Investopedia, as much as 19,000 lawsuits are filed against doctors every single year. From 1986 to 2010, a whopping $38 billion has been paid out to patient parties for misdiagnosis alone. These are alarming numbers, which warrants a degree preparedness when viewed from the perspective of practicing physicians.
The Importance of Malpractice Insurance for Doctors
The good news for doctors is that almost 80 percent of all lawsuits get dismissed or withdrawn. The primary reason why most of these cases fail to bear any payouts is that plaintiffs fail to provide enough supporting evidence to prove medical malpractice.
However, doctors still need to bear the legal fees to represent their side of the story in courts. This is where medical malpractice insurance comes in as a great solution. These policies not only payout claim amounts if a case is lost, but they also aid doctors to fight these lawsuits. Malpractice insurance companies hire a team of medical and legal experts to analyze claims made against their clients and they prepare a defence strategy. These companies (at least the good ones) have in-depth knowledge of the city, federal, and state laws and they usually specialize in medical malpractice lawsuits. Most reputed malpractice insurance companies have connections in the local medical community. This means physicians buying doctor’s insurance in New York get access to a peer program that connects them to other doctors in the city. The program helps doctors find social and emotional support if they ever get sued for malpractice.
Typical Features of Medical Malpractice Insurance for Doctors
A single lawsuit can potentially force doctors to lose all of their savings if they are not insured. The following are a few basic features of medical malpractice insurance that should be expected from standard policies.
Insurance Covers the Claim Amount (If the lawsuit is lost)
Covers the Legal Fees of Fighting Lawsuits
Doctors Get Access to a Specialized Legal Team to Represent their Interests
Peer Support Programs Help Doctors Continue on With Their Work
Doctors Get Access to Educational Seminars and Materials to Prevent Future Lawsuits