Another Thing to Consider If You've Been Sued for Malpractice
If you’re a physician, or other healthcare professional, who has been sued by a patient claiming medical negligence, you may wish to retain experienced healthcare counsel to advise you on issues of which your defense attorney may not be aware. In a medical malpractice action, a healthcare professional is generally represented by counsel appointed by the professional’s malpractice insurance carrier. Such attorneys are generally highly experienced and well-versed in the nuances of malpractice law. However, insurance defense counsel are often mindful of reducing your insurance carrier’s exposure, in terms of amounts that are paid to a plaintiff. Defense counsel may wish to settle a claim that may be defensible to protect the carrier from a potentially large verdict should the case be unsuccessful at trial.
However, while an adverse malpractice verdict will obviously have serious negative consequences for a healthcare professional’s further career, a settlement may have negative consequences that are just as bad. Malpractice settlements, as well as adverse verdicts, must be reported to the National Practitioner Data Bank, and this information is available to, among others, hospitals where a professional practice, is on staff or seeks privileges, employers and potential employers, and State licensing boards. Some malpractice policies contain a “consent to settle” provision, where the insured professional has the right to reject a proposed settlement. Experienced healthcare counsel can advise a healthcare professional who has such a provision in a malpractice insurance policy of the full ramifications of accepting or rejecting a settlement, something insurance defense counsel are often unaware or unmindful of.
If you would like a consultation on this or any legal matter, do not hesitate to contact Scaringi Law at 717-657-7770.