There is an unfortunate belief about medical malpractice lawsuits against doctors. The belief is that, if the doctor loses the medical malpractice case or the doctor settles the case by agreeing to pay the victim, the doctor will pay the damages award or the settlement out of his or her pocket. This belief is generally untrue. In this blog post, I’ll tell you who typically pays.
Typically, doctors purchase medical malpractice insurance from big insurance companies, and then those insurance companies handle the medical malpractice cases as they arise. When there is a settlement of a case or a damages award that must be paid, it is generally the insurance company that pays. Further, the insurance company typically covers a range of expenses associated with defending and settling malpractice suits, including costly attorney fees.
For employed doctors, the insurance coverage is usually offered as a part of a group plan purchased by the employer. The employer typically pays the insurance premiums.
With that being said, Maryland does not mandate that all doctors have medical malpractice insurance. Some doctors, due to the cost of the insurance, make the choice to go without insurance; further, even doctors who have not made that choice may be underinsured. In these cases, where the doctor has no insurance coverage or insufficient insurance coverage, the personal assets of the doctor may come into play. It is in these cases that the doctor might, theoretically, have to pay the damages award or settlement out of his or her pocket. However, in practice, it is typically very difficult to collect from the doctor when the award must be paid out of his or her pocket. Why? Doctors are adept at shielding their wealth, making it hard for victims of medical malpractice to receive the compensation they deserve.
Now, if you have suffered an injury due to the negligence of a doctor in Maryland, you may have questions about your legal options. If you have not yet started a lawsuit and are contemplating bringing one, I encourage you to contact me today. I can answer your legal questions and would love to talk with you. You can reach me at 410-513-9978 or by email at email@example.com.