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Florida Doctors are Required to be Financially Responsible for Their Mistakes, Lawyers are not.

Florida Doctors are Required to be Financially Responsible for Their Mistakes, Lawyers are not.
Author: richsmukler

Medical Malpractice (also known as Medical Negligence) is quite similar to Legal Malpractice (also known as Legal Negligence).

However, unlike doctors, lawyers in the state of Florida have no obligation to maintain malpractice insurance or provide any disclosure to clients that they do not have insurance. It is estimated that approximately forty percent of attorneys do not carry malpractice insurance. These errors include missing deadlines, unfamiliarity with the law, conflict of interest and failing to obtain client consent. Clients who have suffered damages at the hands of their lawyers have no practical recourse whatsoever when the attorney has no malpractice insurance.

The Florida legislature has passed laws requiring doctors to satisfy financial responsibility requirements. Essentially, a doctor who does not have hospital staff privileges must provide an escrow account, insurance or a letter of credit of not less than $100,000.00 per claim with a minimum annual aggregate of not less than $300,000.00. A doctor who has hospital privileges must establish an escrow account, insurance or a letter of credit in the amount of $250,000.00 per claim and a minimum annual aggregate of not less than $750,000.00. Florida Statute 458.320

There are two exceptions to these requirements. The first is primarily for part-time physicians. In order to avoid the financial responsibility requirements, they must post a sign in their reception area or provide a written statement to all persons who receive medical services. The sign or statement must state the following: “Under Florida law, physicians are generally required to carry medical malpractice insurance or otherwise demonstrate financial responsibility to cover potential claims for medical malpractice. However, certain part-time physicians who meet state requirements are exempt from the financial responsibility law. YOUR DOCTOR MEETS THESE REQUIREMENTS AND HAS DECIDED NOT TO CARRY MEDICAL MALPRACTICE INSURANCE. This notice is provided pursuant to Florida law.”

Doctors who agree to satisfy judgments rendered against them may also avoid the financial responsibility laws if they provide a notice substantially similar to the notice for those who are part-time physicians.

Legal and Medical Malpractice claims are extremely expensive and time-consuming. Typically, attorneys who are willing to take on these claims are extremely careful before doing so, as many of these claims are taken on a contingent fee basis which would be the responsibility of that attorney or law firm if the claim is unsuccessful. Time is needed for a sensible evaluation of the case before taken on. So, if you think you may have a claim, time is of the essence to get it reviewed as soon as possible.  To schedule a complimentary 30 minute zoom or telephone meeting – contact.

*Resources: Florida Statutes  766.102458.320, Warren Trazenfield, Esquire, Cutler & Rader Esquires

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