If you make a mistake while practicing medicine, your patient may file a medical malpractice claim against you. With such a claim, you may be facing high fines and the temporary or permanent revocation of your medical license. This is when malpractice insurance will come into play. Read on to discover whether you should allow your malpractice insurance to settle your case and how one of the seasoned New York attorneys representing uninsured physicians at Walker Medical Law can review your options with you.
What is malpractice insurance?
First of all, you may be accused of medical malpractice if you have allegedly breached your duty of care toward your patient, which caused them to suffer a serious injury or harm. More specifically, your patient may accuse you of misinterpreting their lab results, failing to diagnose them promptly, or improperly medicating them, among other things.
As a precautionary measure, many medical professionals carry malpractice insurance. This is a type of professional liability insurance that protects medical professionals from any potential claims for allegedly wrongful actions. Notably, in New York State, this is a strictly optional insurance that medical professionals are not required to purchase.
At initial thought, you may not understand the urgency of purchasing malpractice insurance if it is strictly optional and if it is quite expensive. Though, you must think about how much it can save you in the long run. That is, there is no cap on the amount of compensation that a plaintiff can be awarded in a medical malpractice claim. So if they win, and you do not have malpractice insurance to cover you, then you may be paying a lot in fines. This is not to mention the possibility of having your medical license suspended or revoked, and the associated fees for having it reinstated.
What happens if I allow my malpractice insurance to settle my case?
If you allow your insurance company to settle the case against you, you must understand what this will entail. First, regardless of how much money they settle for, your case will be reported to the National Practioner Database and the Department of Health of New York State.
And if you have several types of settlements against your name, prospective patients may begin to think differently of you. That is, the Department of Health will put your settlements on your website, which the general public will have access to. And if they see that you have too many claims against you, they may be more likely to choose a different physician.
Therefore, you must make a conscious choice as to whether you are going to fight these malpractice claims or opt for a settlement agreement. This is a serious choice with serious ramifications. For more information on malpractice insurance and settlements, consult with a competent New York uninsured physicians attorney today.