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Is malpractice insurance needed for medicolegal/expert witness work?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Dont_know_mind View Post

    The patient can make a medical board complaint if you are registered as a medical practitioner and you maybe required to reply, even if the complaint is vexatious.

    The main risk (although hopefully very rare) with this type of work I would have thought, would be that you testify against a patient and they decide to target you. Although you may keep your residential address private, they could go to your work location. I remember reading a case of an orthopaedic surgeon who was shot and killed by a disgruntled plaintiff.
    If you're afraid of this, why aren't you afraid of an unhappy patient doing the same thing? (not you specifically).


    • #17
      Originally posted by afan View Post
      You could probably get some free advice by calling your current malpractice carrier or broker. Ask whether there is any insurance needed or even available.

      If someone were to sue you for defamation for saying that their care was substandard, then your umbrella should cover you. The same, I assume, if the other side were to sue you for saying that the care was appropriate.
      I don't think umbrella works for anything done in a professional capacity. At least I don't think mine does.


      • #18
        Originally posted by AR View Post

        If you're afraid of this, why aren't you afraid of an unhappy patient doing the same thing? (not you specifically).
        Yeah, I probably worry about this stuff more than I need to.
        I used to do some medicolegal, but I don't anymore.

        I definitely look out for this in patients I treat as well.
        In the past, I treated a patient with paranoid personality PD who sent me threatening letters for about 2 years. At one stage I would get daily variably threatening mail and even parked a block away from where I worked for a few weeks.
        I don't treat anyone I think could be a personal risk anymore.

        Probably some people get through a clinical career without any problems and also lots of medicolegal probably.


        • #19
          As a risk/malpractice manager of 39 years experience, you do not need malpractice insurance if you are giving expert opinions or testimony based only on chart review and indeed your typical malpractice policy would not cover you for expert work. If you are doing independent medical exams or evaluations, you do need malpractice insurance, since that is typically considered patient care. I have handled a couple of claims over the years in which it was alleged the clinician doing an IME failed to inform the patient about a significant finding (one was a malignant melanoma and the other was a lesion on a chest film). I settled both of those cases.