Another Frivilous Lawsuit Myth Debunked

In previous blogs, we have disputed claims by proponents of medical malpractice tort reform that insurance premiums are rising as a result of an increase in medical malpractice claims. A recent study out of the Suffolk University Law School offers further support for our position.

Examining malpractice insurance premiums in the State of Massachusetts from 1975 to 2005, the authors of this study found that medical malpractice premiums have actually declined from 1990 to 2005 for virtually all physicians practicing in Massachusetts. The authors noted that because Massachusetts has the fourth-highest median malpractice payouts of all states, if there was a premium crisis due to the number of lawsuit settlements, it should logically occur in Massachusetts

The authors proved yet again that malpractuce premiums are not higher than ever and that there is no premium crisis. Their study demonstrates the fallacy of such arguments, noting that the proponents of such arguments fail to account for inflation, discounts offered by insurance companies to increase their market share, and the historical rise and fall cycle in insurance underwriting.

Moreover, national figures published by the American Medical Association support the fact that malpractice insurance premiums do not have a significant impact on a physician's ability to practice medicine. These figures show that premiums make up 7 percent of total practice costs for all physicians.

Michael J. Shevlin
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Specializing in medical malpractice and serious personal injury cases since 1994.
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