Malpractice insurance will cover a doctor’s legal fees and compensatory damages if the doctor gets sued. While you can sue a doctor without malpractice insurance, as the Journal of Medicine reports, getting compensation from uninsured doctors is not always easy. Fortunately, in Pennsylvania, all healthcare providers are required to be insured, so you should not have to worry about suing uninsured physicians in this state.
Keep reading to learn more about how you can increase your chances of getting compensation from your doctor, whether they are insured or not.
Malpractice Insurance Is Often a Necessity
Medical malpractice suits are all too common. According to Johns Hopkins, medical error kills 250,000 people in the United States every year. Because of this, many doctors carry malpractice insurance to cover the costs of lawsuits filed against them in their practice.
However, as Investopedia points out, malpractice insurance is not just a good idea; it is often a legal necessity. Because doctors run such a high risk of being sued, many medical facilities require them to carry insurance. Doctors without insurance are not allowed to work in certain facilities, such as hospitals. There is an exception for medical professionals employed by the government because these doctors are insured by the government and do not need regular malpractice insurance.
In Pennsylvania, medical professionals are required to have malpractice insurance or be self-insured. If they do not follow this rule, their license may be suspended, according to the Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error Act §711. This law is designed to protect people who have suffered medical malpractice injuries and may need money to compensate for their losses.
For a free legal consultation, call (412) 661-1400
You Can Sue for Medical Malpractice Damages
You can sue for economic damages if you suffered financial hardship because of medical malpractice. These damages may take the form of:
- Lost wages, which is the income you could not earn while recovering
- Reduced earning capacity, which is the money you would have earned in the future but now cannot because your injuries prevent you from working at your regular performance
- Medical expenses, such as hospital bills or the cost of assistive devices
- Funeral expenses, such as for burial or cremation
The aftermath of a medical malpractice incident can cause multiple forms of losses beyond financial loss. Noneconomic damages refer to general losses, whether physical, emotional, or mental. You may qualify for noneconomic damages if you experienced any of the following.
- Pain and suffering, such as physical symptoms or emotional trauma
- Loss of quality of life, such as loss of independence or the inability to function without pain
- Permanent disability, such as the loss of a limb, sense, or organ
- Loss of companionship, which refers to the support and guidance you can no longer receive from your late loved one
How a Lawyer from Berger and Green Can Help
You can get legal representation to help you file a claim or lawsuit and fight for compensation. While every lawsuit is different, below is a brief overview of what you might expect during your case, and how legal representation can help you along the way:
- Investigating your case: You may need more than just your personal recollections to back up your claim. Corroborating evidence may include medical records and expert testimony, such as from a doctor who practices in the same field as the defendant. A lawyer can collect this evidence for you.
- Filing the lawsuit: Your lawyer can inform your doctor that you are suing them. They can also file any other necessary paperwork, up to and including arranging for a trial.
- Sitting down to negotiate: Before going to trial, you and your doctor have a chance to meet and agree on what compensation you qualify for. More than likely, your doctor will already have a lawyer. Should you hire a lawyer, they can negotiate on your behalf and advocate for your interests.
- Going to trial: If you cannot reach a settlement agreement, you may have the option of scheduling a trial. Your lawyer can do this for you. They can also represent you in court, submitting evidence, and making arguments to a jury.
You can sue a doctor without malpractice insurance, and you do not have to do so alone. Berger and Green represent medical malpractice victims in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and surrounding areas. We can help you fight for compensation to recover your losses. Give us a call at (412) 661-1400 to learn more about what we can do for you.