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Suing a doctor for not having malpractice insurance

Ohio residents may be interested to know that the New Jersey Supreme Court has ruled that doctors who commit an error cannot be sued be sued by a patient for not having proper medical malpractice insurance. However, the court ruled that the hospital that employs the doctor can be sued if it didn't do enough to verify that the practitioner had insurance. The ruling stems from a 2005 procedure involving a patient undergoing a spinal fusion.

After the surgery, the man felt pain in his foot and fell down. The pain was caused by screws that the doctor improperly put in the man's foot, which resulted in a pinched nerve. A medical negligence suit was file against the doctor and MSSC, but it was discovered that the doctor's policy did not cover cases involving spinal surgery.

In 2004, New Jersey amended a state law to require doctors to have $500,000 of malpractice insurance or a letter of credit. However, the court found that state law does not hold hospitals liable for allowing uninsured doctors to perform procedures on patients. Furthermore, state law does not require doctors to tell patients if they are uninsured. Ultimately, the court said that it was up to the state medical board to discipline the doctor and the hospital as opposed to the courts. The man eventually won a $750,000 judgment against his doctor for his medical negligence claims.

Those who are harmed by a medical error often are required to incur significant additional medical bills, and in many cases are unable to return to work for prolonged periods. A medical malpractice attorney might be of assistance in pursuing compensation for the damages that have been incurred.

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