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A Brief Guide to Understanding How Medical Malpractice Insurance Works

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

About one-third of all doctors have been sued by patients in the past. Additionally, about 50% of doctors will face at least one lawsuit by the time they reach the age of 55.

Because of this, many doctors choose to invest in medical malpractice insurance. This type of insurance isn’t mandated by law by the federal government or most states. But, a lot of healthcare professionals still choose to sign up for it to protect themselves.

Here is a brief guide on what medical malpractice insurance is and how it works.

What Is Medical Malpractice Insurance?

Medical malpractice insurance falls outside the realm of traditional liability insurance. It’s considered a type of errors and omissions—or E&O—coverage.

People often associated medical malpractice insurance with doctors. But, this kind of insurance is also great for nurses, physical therapists, dentists, and others who work in the medical industry.

It’s available through most standard insurers. There are also some insurers that focus solely on providing medical malpractice insurance.

What Does It Cover?

Errors take place in the medical industry all the time. In fact, one recent report found that medical errors are the third-leading cause of death in the country right now.

Medical malpractice insurance protects healthcare providers accused of causing injuries to patients. Their medical malpractice insurance will kick in if they’re ever forced to face a medical malpractice lawsuit.

It’ll cover many of the legal fees that they rack up during court proceedings. It’ll also cover any settlement or judgment that comes out of a lawsuit.

Find out more about some of the reasons why a patient might file a lawsuit against a healthcare provider. It’ll shed some light on why medical malpractice insurance is so essential. 

What Does It Not Cover?

Malpractice insurance will provide healthcare professionals with protection in most instances. But, there are some situations in which an insurer will not protect providers.

For example, a healthcare professional cannot get coverage for a malpractice claim tied to an incident that occurred before their insurance policy took effect. They also cannot get coverage for a medical malpractice claim if:

  • They were under the influence of drugs or alcohol during a medical procedure that resulted in a malpractice claim
  • They engaged in sexual misconduct that led to a malpractice claim
  • They face a malpractice claim after disclosing the medical records of a patient

Healthcare providers should be aware of the limitations of their insurance policies. It can help them steer clear of putting themselves into positions in which they might not have insurance coverage.

Filing a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Against a Doctor

Were you injured during a medical procedure performed by a doctor, a nurse, or another healthcare professional?

You have the right to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against them. Consider filing a suit after speaking with a medical malpractice lawyer. They can break down the ins and outs of medical malpractice for you.

Read our blog for more information on medical malpractice insurance and lawsuits.

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