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Five Myths of Medical Malpractice – Part 3

May 12, 2017

Myth 3: Physicians Are One Malpractice Verdict Away From Bankruptcy

Many physicians seem to believe that malpractice verdicts threaten to wipe out their savings. When assessing this fear, it is appropriate to start by observing that most malpractice cases are settled or dismissed; only about 2% of claims are tried, and even then doctors win about 75% of the time.

Even when one compares actual payments to jury awards, many patients who “win” turn out to be losers because jurors tend to be stingy and awards often fail to cover patients’ actual losses. Blockbuster verdicts dominate the press, but their coverage reflects their rarity.  Further, any verdict, blockbuster or otherwise, that exceeds the limits of a provider’s insurance coverage is quite unlikely to be paid in full.  The larger the verdict, the more likely the patient will receive much less than was awarded.  In this study, out-of-pocket payments by physicians were extraordinarily rare, particularly when physicians had appropriate insurance.  The researchers concluded: “One might say, with only the slightest exaggeration, that physicians have effectively no personal exposure on malpractice claims (other than the obvious and unavoidable side effects of litigation such as the emotional and time-related costs of being deposed).”

Studies now have established this fact:  Physicians are not facing bankruptcy from medical malpractice settlements or verdicts.

If you or a family member has been injured at a military hospital anywhere in the world, please contact our experienced military medical malpractice lawyer for a free, confidential consultation by either calling toll-free at 877-695-8757 (calls are answered 24/7), e-mailing us at LawHelp@MilitaryMedicalMalpractice.com, or by filling out the form at the top right side of this page.

To read more go to: Hyman, David A and Silver, Charles, Five Myths of Medical malpractice, CHEST 2013; 143 (1): 222 – 227

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