I believe that I have been a victim of medical
malpractice from my former doctor. I
recently found out that he does not carry malpractice insurance. Can I still sue him and recover damages?
always have the option of suing your doctor for malpractice if you believe that
you have been harmed by the provision of sub-standard medical care. That
remains true whether or not your doctor carries liability or malpractice
many states, doctors are required to carry liability or malpractice insurance
-- or at least demonstrate that they have a certain amount of assets to cover a
judgment against them. But as we all know, just because the law requires
something, that doesn’t mean everyone is complying.
vast majority of doctors make a calculated decision to carry insurance
regardless of what the law says. Otherwise, a doctor who is sued by a patient alleging
medical negligence will find him/herself personally on the financial hook
for any judgment entered in the patient’s favor. But there is a bit of an
underground trend of doctors choosing to practice without malpractice and
liability insurance, usually because the cost of that insurance is prohibitive.
Some of these doctors see insurers asking $75,000 in annual premiums, and they
decide to roll the dice and go without coverage rather than pay for it. That’s
a fine strategy, as long as they never end up facing
a medical malpractice lawsuit.
your doctor is practicing without insurance, they are probably legally required
to have a sign posted on the wall advising patients of that fact. And if
your doctor works at a hospital or other care facility, the facility is
probably legally required to make sure the doctor is properly insured (and you
may be able to sue the hospital for allowing the doctor to practice at their
facility without insurance).
chances are your doctor is insured, but even if they aren’t, you can still file
a medical malpractice lawsuit against them. The larger question is what will
happen if your lawsuit is successful. In other words, you prove your case, the
jury decides in your favor, and the court enters a $1 million judgment in your
favor. Since the doctor carries no insurance, collecting on that judgment just
got a lot more complicated, and there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to
collect anything at all, especially if the doctor has no significant assets.
by: David Goguen, J.D.
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