The Patient Right to Know Act was signed into law in Georgia in 2001. The purpose of the Act was to give Georgians the ability to find out whether their doctors have been sued for medical malpractice and been forced to pay any claims. However, the Act was later amended in 2011 to require that physicians disclose whether they have malpractice insurance to the Georgia State Medical Board. Last fall, it was reported that the Medical Board has been unable to update it’s databases to reflect this information, leaving Georgians in the dark.
The medical malpractice field is extraordinarily complex. When claims arise, it can be nearly impossible for non-lawyers to successfully pursue compensation. The attorneys at Slappey & Sadd monitor the law and any developments so that we can give our clients timely and relevant legal representation. If you’re a victim of medical malpractice, call us at 404-255-6677 to schedule a free consultation or complete our online contact form to discuss how we can help you.
The Role of Malpractice Insurance
Malpractice insurance plays a critical role in the claims process. By paying monthly premiums, doctors purchase insurance coverage in the event of a claim. The coverage will not only pay any judgments, arbitration awards, or settlement amounts, but will also cover their legal expenses.
While the benefits for doctors are obvious, it also provides a vital benefit to patients. Malpractice insurance coverage guarantees that patients will actually be able to recover compensation in the event that they successfully pursue a claim. While doctors and other medical professionals often have significant assets, those assets are rarely sufficient to satisfy many malpractice claims. To make matters worse, the doctor may declare bankruptcy in order to avoid paying your claim. Malpractice insurance guarantees that you will be able to recover compensation in the event that you are successful.
Malpractice insurance also brings an interesting dynamic to the medical malpractice environment. Many doctors refuse to acknowledge their mistakes, and often complain about their insurance companies paying claims in order to avoid costly litigation expenses. If you have a clear case of medical malpractice, the insurance company may be willing to resolve the case much more quickly than the doctor is, and on terms that are very favorable to you.
Over 2,200 Doctors Without Malpractice Insurance
Most of us assume that our doctor has malpractice insurance. However, the article linked above reports that over 2,200 doctors in the state of Georgia do not carry medical malpractice insurance. Having explained the role of medical malpractice insurance above, you can understand why this is so startling – in the event that you are a victim of malpractice, the lack of malpractice insurance will undermine your ability to get compensation.
Ambiguous and False Information
The article above also reported that much of the information that doctors provide is never verified by the Medical Board. As a result, they have discovered that much of the information provided is outright false, or at best, ambiguous. Clearly, the Georgia State Medical Board has a long way to go in order to provide patients with the information they need to choose the right doctor.
Slappey & Sadd – Atlanta, Georgia Medical Malpractice Attorneys
Founded in 1992, the lawyers at Slappey & Sadd extensive experience in helping those who have suffered as a result of medical malpractice. Even if there are insurance issues, we know how to pursue your claim to get the best possible result. If you’d like to discuss your case and how we can help you, call us at 404-255-6677 or visit us online to schedule a free consultation.