Med Mal Myths: Doctors are Financially at Risk Due to Lawsuits

Categories: Medical Lawsuits

Many physicians assume that malpractice verdicts can wipe out their savings in an instant and leave them without any money to their name. They will claim that they are one verdict away from a tragic and devastating bankruptcy. Yet it is important to observe that jury trials are not common when it comes to medical malpractice lawsuits. Even rarer are plaintiff victories in jury trials regarding medical malpractice. Instead, most cases are settled or dismissed outside of court.

Only about 2% of all medical malpractice claims are tried and at trial the health care providers are successful in winning the case approximately 75% of the time. This proves that doctors are not in the direct line of fire in these lawsuits, and their bank accounts are not necessarily jeopardized.

If you choose to compare actual payments to jury awards, then patients who win their settlements often still come out behind. This is because the jury may not award the plaintiff enough money to actually cover the damages of the case. This means that the victim still has to pay for the repercussions of a medical mistake. The blockbuster medical malpractice cases that bombard the news are rare, which is why they are heavily covered and publicized. Oftentimes the plaintiff receives even less money than the jury rewarded n an action that is frequently referred to as a “haircut.”

Haircuts typically happen when a plaintiff is awarded a sum of money in a verdict but then policy limits cap the amount that the victim is allowed to gather. As a result, the patients simply lose some of the money that they rightfully deserved. Studies also show that when payments are above the typical medical malpractice policy limits, they are almost always from insurers. Out-of-pocket payments by doctors are not common, and most of the time doctors have a policy of less than $500,000 for all medical malpractice claims.

This means that doctors who claim that their bank will be broken by medical malpractice lawsuits aren’t entirely telling the truth. Typically, the only costs and burdens that they will have to bear involve the unavoidable effects of litigation, the emotional sufferings involved, and the time-related costs of being deposed. Medical malpractice lawyers don’t typically pursue the doctor’s personal assets because a study documented malpractice lawyers and discovered that this route is not been very affective.

The only physicians that should worry about damage to their personal finances in a lawsuit are those who are grossly underinsured, and even these doctors do not have too much to worry about. If you want more information, then you need to contact an attorney at the Van Sant Law Firm. These Atlanta medical malpractice lawyers can help you to make a claim and try to help you prove that you deserve damages for your pain and suffering.