Your attorney should be able to handle this question. That being said, your attorney should be able to do an asset search for the doctor with computer aided research. If the doctor doesn't have sufficient assets, you may be well advised to take the policy limits and go on about your business because, if you don't, you could end up with a bankruptcy petition and a discharge in bankruptcy. All of this is hypothetical of course, so I would have a long chat with your attorney very soon about this issue because it would affect my discussions with my client about settling a case.
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I agree with Mr. Schoen. To be honest, it seems odd that if you have a "good lawyer" you would be posting your question to Avvo, but I mark it up to the anxiety you must be having with your case moving toward trial. Discuss our concerns with your attorney, who certainly can give you a more focused response... Best of luck to you...
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If the doctors' insurance policy is $1.3 million, there may be excess insurance coverage provided by the State. The State of New York offers an excess liability program for doctors, surgeons and dentists. In 1986, the NYS Legislature passed the Medical Malpractice Reform Act which allows doctors, surgeons, and dentists to obtain an additional $1 million per incident / $3 million aggregate coverage for medical malpractice insurance. To qualify, the doctor must carry underlying limits of $1.3 million per incident with a $3.9 million aggregate limit per policy year. Since it appears that the defendant doctor in your case has $1.3 million, he very well may have state excess coverage. Speak with your attorney about whether the doctor has such coverage. You always have the right, if you so choose, to seek to recover the full amount of any judgment from any available assets, though in practice it is not often done. FYI, There is currently a Bill before the NY State Senate that proposes to lower the amount of primary insurance from $1.3M to $1m in order to qualify. A copy of the Bill can be found here. http://open.nysenate.gov/legislation/bill/S3454-2013. Good luck.
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