USA Today has a disturbing story about the prevalence of plastic surgeons in our state who lack medical malpractice insurance. As a result, badly injured patients have few options for getting the compensation they need to recover from botched plastic surgeries.
Dangerous Doctors are “Going Bare”
The USA Today investigation found that around 6,900 doctors in Florida were practicing without malpractice insurance, which is called “going bare” in the profession. Unfortunately, these doctors also are some of the worst in the state. Based on statistics, they have been disciplined over 40% more than other doctors in the past decade. Many also have criminal offenses, such as operating a vehicle under the influence.
Many doctors were also disciplined in other states but, once they moved to Florida, were cleared to practice. And they have chosen not to carry malpractice insurance, which Florida has not required since 1986. (Only 7 states require that doctors carry malpractice insurance as a condition for being cleared to treat patients in the state.)
According to USA Today’s analysis, about 20% of Florida’s plastic surgeons are going bare. And this number probably understates the problem, since it only refers to those doctors licensed to practice plastic surgery. Florida also allows unlicensed doctors to perform plastic surgery, and many of them also lack malpractice insurance.
More Loopholes for Doctors
If a plastic surgeon (or any doctor) commits medical malpractice, an injured patient can sue them personally, even if the doctor lacks malpractice insurance. And a Florida law requires that doctors pay up to $250,000 against them. This is the agreement doctors make which allows them to practice without insurance.
But there is a loophole in the law: doctors can file for bankruptcy protection, which can eliminate any court judgments against them. These doctors also cannot be disciplined for filing for bankruptcy. Of course, doctors cannot file bankruptcy every year, but the process allows some of them to get rid of court judgments for malpractice, and they can always use this as a threat when negotiating a settlement. Unfortunately, patients are left to suffer, with continuing medical expenses and lost wages, along with little chance for full financial recovery.
Did a Plastic Surgeon Injure You? Meet with a Miami Medical Malpractice Lawyer Today
At Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein, we excel at taking some of the hardest malpractice cases in Miami. Our team has helped many people injured in surgical nightmares, and we are interested in hearing more about your story. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation by calling 305-371-2692.