Were you aware that pursuant to Florida law doctors are allowed to treat patients in our state without any insurance coverage? Not only are they allowed to do so but they have been allowed to go without malpractice coverage for decades. As a result, the following percentage of doctors opt out of medical malpractice coverage:
• 1/4 of the doctors in Broward and Palm Beach Counties;
• 1/3 of the doctors in Miami; and
• 1/8 of the doctors statewide.
Florida law states that doctors can go uninsured if they post signs in their offices and promise to pay up to $250,000 per malpractice award, with a maximum of $750,000 per year. Their penalty for not paying pursuant to statute is revocation of their medical license.
Ultimately, the victim’s desire is twofold; to ensure that what happened to them doesn’t happen to someone else in the future and to be compensated for the severe injuries that they have sustained at the hands of a doctor who rendered care that substantially deviated from the professional standards. Although revocation of the at fault doctor’s license is a remedy that is warranted in some instances; the amount of compensation mandated by the Florida legislature doesn’t begin to cover the damages of a catastrophic injury caused by medical malpractice.
This practice has left patients with valid malpractice claims unable to retain counsel to represent them in claims against these uninsured doctors and obtain financial compensation for their injuries. As a result, malpractice victims are less likely to sue doctors who don’t carry insurance and are paying the highest price of all…loss of their health, loss of their ability to earn a living, loss of their quality of life…all due to the malpractice of a doctor who is uninsured.
It’s amazing to believe, but despite the fact that medical doctors are allowed to practice without insurance coverage, Florida does require the following medical professions to obtain malpractice insurance: chiropractors, podiatrists, midwives, some nurses, acupuncturists and optometrists. Where is the logic in this?