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Are All Physicians Insured Against Medical Malpractice Claims?

Are All Physicians Insured Against Medical Malpractice Claims?

Most practicing healthcare professionals in the United States are required to purchase medical malpractice insurance, which compensates patients who are injured or killed as a result of the medical professional's mistakes.

How does medical malpractice insurance benefit you-the patient? It should give you the peace of mind of knowing that if you're injured while under a doctor's care, your physician will have the money necessary to compensate you for your injuries and pay for your healthcare-related expenses.

Medical Malpractice Insurance-Or the Equivalent

If you cause a car crash that leaves others injured, your automobile insurance will, in most instances, compensate those victims. While you might have to pay a small deductible, you won't have to sell your home or empty your bank accounts to pay the people who were injured. Medical malpractice insurance offers a similar type of financial protection for doctors, nurses, hospitals and other medical providers.

Most states require doctors to purchase medical malpractice insurance. As with auto insurance, doctors may be required to have a minimum level of coverage. In Connecticut, for example, doctors must purchase insurance that will pay at least $500,000 per incident or $1.5 million per year.

In some states, such as Florida, a doctor may choose to purchase insurance or to self insure. That means the doctor will keep an escrow account with money in it that can only be used to pay for medical malpractice claims. In Florida, for example, the minimum balance in that escrow account is $250,000.

A few states, including New York, don't require doctors to carry medical malpractice insurance. But even in states where medical malpractice insurance isn't required under the law, most hospitals and medical practices will require a doctor to obtain insurance before allowing the doctor to practice in their facilities.

Professional Liability Insurance Is Common

Doctors aren't the only ones who are required to obtain med mal insurance. Depending on the state, hospitals, podiatrists, chiropractors, massage therapists, nurses, physical therapists and optometrists may also be required to obtain some form of professional liability insurance.

Visit LawyerLocator to learn more about medical malpractice or to get connected with a med mal attorney.