Medical Malpractice Insurance in Maryland: Understanding Coverage and Claims

Medical malpractice is one of the most devastating forms of personal injury that you can suffer. The doctor to whom you have entrusted your health has been careless and now you face a life-altering injury. You may even have lost a family member to a medical mistake.

Although doctors and hospitals are not required to obtain medical malpractice insurance under Maryland law, it is a prudent course of action. Otherwise, the doctor or hospital could be completely wiped out financially by one instance of severe medical malpractice. In addition, doctors cannot practice in a hospital or join a health insurance network if they do not have medical malpractice insurance.

Medical facilities often require a doctor to have a minimum in medical malpractice coverage to practice there. The doctor must have a large policy because the hospital could also be responsible for the malpractice of a doctor who treats patients in the facility. The average medical malpractice settlement can reach $400,000, while cases that go to trial average jury awards of approximately $1 million. In some cases, especially those that involve birth injuries or deaths, could result in higher liability.

Malpractice Coverage and Premiums

The amount of premiums that physicians pay depends on both their practice area and their history. Surgeons will generally pay more in premiums because there is a higher chance that they may be facing a medical malpractice claim. OB/GYNs will pay the highest premiums because birth injury leads to the largest settlements and awards. Chances are that an OB/GYN will be the subject of at least one medical malpractice claim throughout their careers. In addition, doctors who have had previous claims may face higher rates because the insurance company views them to be more of a risk.

Doctors will need to consider several different types of coverage when purchasing malpractice insurance. Doctors may want to purchase more than just the basic coverage to give them more protection. Here are the different types of medical malpractice coverage:

  • Claims-made policies cover claims that are made when the policy is active. Something could have happened when the doctor had insurance, but they would not be covered if the claim was filed after the policy lapsed.
  • Occurrence policies cover incidents that happen during the coverage period, even after the policy has lapsed.
  • Tail coverage allows doctors to add a period of protection to a claims-made or occurrence policy.
  • Nose coverage allows physicians to purchase retroactive coverage before the point when the policy began.

The Insurance Company Is Involved in a Medical Malpractice Claim

The insurance carrier will review the claim if a patient or their family files a medical malpractice lawsuit. They may determine whether the claim has merit and should be settled. They must defend their doctor. The insurance company also has obligations to the doctor, and they could be liable for bad faith if they unreasonably failed to settle a claim.

If you file a medical malpractice lawsuit, you would also deal with the insurance company. Generally, insurance carriers know when they need to settle a claim. There is a reason why few medical malpractice plaintiffs prevail at trial – the insurance companies have already paid claims they know they will lose in court.

Contact a Baltimore Medical Malpractice Lawyer at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Today

If a careless doctor has injured you or a loved one, you should contact a Baltimore medical malpractice lawyer at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. Call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or complete our online form to schedule a free initial consultation.

We have offices in Baltimore, Glen Burnie, Lanham, and Owings Mills, allowing us to represent clients in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.