Wells, Purcell & Kraatz

Medical Malpractice

Medical Malpractice: Doctors Do Not Have Enough Insurance

When recovering damages in a medical malpractice case, two main factors are involved:

The seriousness of the injury

The source of compensation for damages

Unless injuries are serious, which would allow for a large settlement or award, the costs to bring a malpractice case may be prohibitive. The party to the lawsuit must also be a source of compensation, whether through insurance coverage or available assets.

The Wall Street Journal addressed medical malpractice insurance in an article entitled “In Malpractice Trials, Juries Rarely Have the Last Word.“ The article described two different cases, one tried in New York, and one tried in Texas. In both cases, the insurance coverage limits dictated the outcome:

Both counsels in the New York Redens case agreed to settle for an amount between $2 million and $6 million regardless of what the jury awarded. The amounts were set close the physician’s insurance policy limit.

A Texas jury rendered an award of $269 million. However, the plaintiff reached a settlement with the three physicians involved and their practice group before the jury delivered its verdict. They agreed on an amount just under $3 million based what the parties’ insurance policies covered for the malpractice.

While these sound like substantial settlements, insurance limits may not compensate the actual expenses. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that the estimated lifetime cost for a spinal cord injury victim could surpass $3 million depending on the injury severity. These monetary figures only address medical care and do not include lost future income and other damages.

If you are considering pursuing a medical malpractice case, seasoned representation is crucial. Consult an experienced Texas medical malpractice attorney at Wells, Purcell & Kraatz. Call our law office based in Fort Worth, Texas at (800) 882-4529 or contact us online.

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