Are You Too Afraid of Being Sued?

Side Note: Every physician worries about being sued. Why? Is it because of the headache of a long, drawn-out trial? Is it because of the expense? It is because it is emotionally draining? Obviously, it is all of the above and more. Being sued for med mal is an awful experience and no one wants to go through it. But, a new study shows that physicians may be worrying too much and the reality of getting sued for med mal may be smaller than they think.

Most interestingly, the national survey showed that physicians have almost equal levels of worry about med mal lawsuits despite their specialty or which state they are located in. Even physicians who were in states with established tort reform did not seem to worry less or change their practice patterns of defensive medicine. The study showed that physicians in the lowest risk states could have less than one-third of the risk of physicians in the most risky states, but it didn’t matter. The reason? One of the authors of the study suggests that “…most physicians do not have the information to accurately access their actual risk of being sued.” We here at think it could be that going through a med mal lawsuit is so awful that, even if the risk is low, it is still dreaded. And, as physician advocates, we also understand that physicians are dedicated to their patients and their practices and work hard to protect them. So, of course, fear of a lawsuit would be only natural.

Another worry that physicians often face related to med mal is the cost of their professional liability coverage. We here at understand that physicians need as much information as possible to make an informed decision regarding one of the biggest expenses of running and maintaining a practice, a med mal policy. If you would like to see a history of med mal rates over the past ten years, broken down by state or select specialty, you may wish to view data from the Medical Liability Monitor.

Are you a physician concerned about your liability policy rates? If so, complete our free, no-obligation quote request today.

Physicians still fear malpractice lawsuits, despite tort reforms
Dec. 15, 2010 from

Physicians’ fears of being sued for malpractice are out of proportion to their actual risk of being sued, according to a recent study by a University of Iowa researcher and colleagues.

The study also suggests that tort reform legislation aimed at controlling malpractice costs has not lessened physician concerns about malpractice lawsuits, and may not be effective in altering defensive medicine practices — like ordering unnecessary lab tests — that can drive up the cost of health care.

Read the Original Article

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