Do Insurance Companies Cover Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice insurance is liability insurance that doctors, surgeons, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals get in case they are accused of negligence, recklessness, wrongful death, or any other personal injury.

However, it does not cover acts committed with criminal intent, or sexual wrongdoing.

This insurance covers defense attorney fees, costs associated with going to court and settlement fees that would be paid out to the plaintiff if a judge awards it. To learn more about how an attorney will help you, visit our website.

Who Carries Medical Malpractice Insurance

All healthcare providers will have a need for medical malpractice insurance in case they ever face allegations of criminal actions, errors, or omissions of information critical to the safety of the patient. Those who carry medical malpractice insurance include:

  • Physicians

  • Surgeons

  • Nurses and nurse practitioners

  • Physician assistants

  • Anesthesiologists

Some states require that healthcare providers carry liability insurance. The state of California passed the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act of 1975 (MICRA) a time when medical malpractice had no caps on how much could be awarded to plaintiffs and was thus facing a crisis. They wanted to bring down the cost of premiums. This law placed caps on:

  • How much attorneys can charge for representation

  • The amount paid out for lost wages

  • The amount paid out for medical bills

  • A $250,000 cap on non-economic damages, which will be explained in more detail later

Doctors may be offered staff privileges at hospitals if they opt to get malpractice insurance. Each hospital determines how much that will be. Insurance rates will also depend on the area, so two doctors might be paying different amounts. Going to medical school, finishing one’s residency, and becoming a doctor is an investment of not only money but the bulk of a doctor’s adult life. They will want to protect this investment by being covered with medical malpractice insurance. Nurses, nurse practitioners (NPs), and certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) can be offered insurance at affordable rates, some even as low as less than $100 per year.

Hospitals will also opt to have their own Hospital Professional Liability policy. This plan is beneficial for large hospital systems. It covers the staff that works in their hospital system. Group practices also often purchase their own medical malpractice insurance.

Medi Spas and Medical Students

Medical students are insured under the university they are attending, but there are some gaps in this coverage. Therefore, some students opt to receive their own medical student malpractice insurance.

The staff at medical spas, who perform highly specialized treatments such as Botox injections, can also carry their own insurance. At medi-spas that perform plastic surgery, for example, their plan may be more comprehensive than others.

Non-Economic Damages

In addition to proving that you suffered physically from the injurious act, you are entitled to no more than $250,000 in non-economic damages, or pain and suffering. These are damages that recognize that you are a person with hopes, activities and other things you take pride in doing and are autonomous.

An accident that leaves you unable to participate in activities that brought joy to your life, made you unable to continue in a career you enjoyed that required mobility, or resulted in traumatic flashbacks is one in which you can sue for pain and suffering.

Sleep disturbances, sudden weight gain or loss, lack of concentration, memory difficulties, and even divorce can be evidence of pain and suffering.

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