Written by attorney Christopher Michael Mellino

Medical Malpractice Insurance Can Cover Doctors Sued for Negligence

Doctors are generally covered by medical malpractice insurance, which protects them financially if a lawsuit is filed against them. Lawsuits for medical negligence can extend into the millions of dollars in some cases, which healthcare professionals generally cannot afford.

Types of Medical Malpractice Insurance

There are two main types of malpractice insurance: claims-made and occurrence. Claims-made insurance covers incidents of medical negligence that happened and were reported while you were insured. So if the incident happened while you were insured, but the claim is filed after the insurance is cancelled, the incident would not be covered unless you had what is called “tail coverage." This offers extended reporting time because of statutes of limitations, but can be very expensive

Occurrence coverage is more expensive because it covers a lifetime of medical negligence that may occur during the time the coverage is in effect. This policy covers you, no matter when the claim occurred, so that tail coverage is not needed.

Cost of Medical Malpractice Insurance

Insurance can be expensive. The cost is partly based on location. Rates are controlled by each state, so it is possible to have a doctor in one state pay much more than one in an adjacent state. According to CoverMD, New York and Illinois have among the highest medical malpractice insurance rates.

Medical specialty is also a factor. Neurosurgeons have the highest risk of involvement in a medical malpractice case, with gynecologists not far behind according to CoverMD. Gynecologists also face a high risk of a medical malpractice lawsuit later on down the road because time limits to file a claim do not even start until a person reaches 18 years of age.

Claims history is also a factor. A doctor who has been accused of medical negligence in the past may pay more than a doctor with no prior claims. The amount of liability is also a factor in determining the cost. Different states have different minimum amounts and they can range from $200,000 to one million or more. In addition, in order to practice medicine in some hospitals, a two million dollar liability policy may be required.

Many doctors are also eligible for discounts. Doctors who are new to the medical field often get discounted medical malpractice insurance rates for the first two years because they have no history of medical negligence. The longer the doctor stays with an insurance carrier, the more discount he or she is likely to receive. In addition, some companies offer discounts for taking continuing education courses or signing up for electronic recordkeeping for medical records.

Contacting a Lawyer at Mellino Robenalt LLC

If you suffered harm because of medical negligence, don’t delay in seeking legal help. Contact a malpractice lawyer from Mellino Robenalt in Cleveland. He or she can review your case and determine what types of medical malpractice compensation you may be entitled to receive. Contact the firm today at (440) 333-3800. Medical malpractice insurance allows victims to collect compensation when injured because of negligence.

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