Florida is one of the few states that do not require doctors to have medical malpractice insurance to practice. As a result, an increasing number of doctors decide to go “bare.” This means they choose to drop their medical malpractice insurance to save on the premiums. However, this may not be the smartest move on the books.
It only takes one
Florida doctors might take comfort from the fact that only a small number of medical malpractice cases make it to trial. The law requires a plaintiff to show there was negligence before the filing of a case. However, it only takes one case with a big enough award to ruin a doctor financially. Florida does put a cap on how much a claimant can get for pain and suffering, but even that may change soon.
It has already begun
The state Supreme Court ruled that the cap was unconstitutional in 2014. The case was that of Michelle McCall, a 20-year-old mother who died in 2006 during childbirth. The federal court agreed there was negligence involved and awarded her estate $2 million in emotional damages. However, this went down to $1 million because of the state cap. Five of the seven Supreme Court judges said the cap was “unfair and arbitrary.” The case may well be the first of many more wrongful death cases still pending in Florida to end in favor of the claimants.
It does not take much
The main reason doctors do not get malpractice insurance from providers like GraceyBacker.com is high cost. However, it does not cost much more than what anyone would pay for private health insurance. In some instances, it may even be less. The fact is medical malpractice premiums have been dropping, and has been for over a decade.
It makes no sense for a doctor to risk losing everything to save money that they can afford to spend. It also benefits patients when a doctor has malpractice insurance because they have a better chance of making a successful claim.