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Virginia Medical Malpractice Insurance

FREE No-Obligation Quotes on Medical Malpractice Insurance for Virginia doctors With a new medical liability carrier recently entering the Virginia market and other existing carriers reducing rates now is a great time for Virginia doctors to make sure they are not overpaying for their medical malpractice insurance.

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New Lower Rates from a Medical Malpractice Insurance company in AZ Major Carrier in Virginia Reduces Rates by 9.1%

In June 2011 a reputable medical liability insurance company doing business in Virginia announced an average 9.1% decrease in their rates for Virginia physicians. Don't delay! See if you can save money on your liability insurance today.

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Medical Malpractice Insurance in Virginia

The state of Virginia boasts one of the United States’ more stable medical liability insurance markets, due, in most part, to legislation first passed more than 30 years ago.

In the mid-1970s, Virginia faced a medical malpractice crisis that led to the Virginia General Assembly passing its Medical Malpractice Act of 1976, which capped all damages (pain and suffering; medical bills; wages; interest; and punitive damages) at $750,000. This cap further applied to all defendants collectively, not per defendent. The legislation was effective in preserving the availability of medical malpractice insurance at an affordable price to healthcare providers, with the desired result of ensuring a stable healthcare environment for the citizens of Virginia.

In 1983, the malpractice cap was increased to $1 million, and the last significant test of the cap occurred in 1999, when the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association did its best to attack the medical malpractice cap. At that time, the Virginia General Assembly passed legislation to increase the cap from $1 million to $1.5 million and would thereafter receive annual increases to the cap through July 1, 2008, when the cap matured to $2 million.

Virginia is one of only seven states to have such an aggregate cap on damages, and this aggregate cap has been upheld in the state’s court system.

In addition to the physician-friendly cap on medical malpractice damages, Virginia has enacted reforms that contribute to its stable liability market, including a cap of $350,000 on punitive damages; a two-year general statute of limitations; as well as strict top-rated testimony and certificate of merit requirements.

Virginia law also allows for either party to request that a medical malpractice review panel—made up of two attorneys, two healthcare providers and one circuit court judge—to issue a written opinion stating whether or not the defendant met the standard of care and, if not, whether it was the cause of damages. The panel’s opinion may be admissible as evidence, but is not considered conclusive.

While the state of Virginia does not have a general patient compensation fund that covers all medical malpractice claims, in 1987, it did legislate the Birth-Related Neurological Injury Fund (BIF), which provides for lifetime medical expenses plus 50 percent of the Virginia average weekly wage after the age of 18 for infants who suffer permanent, disabling damage to the brain or spine caused by oxygen deprivation or injury during labor, delivery or resuscitation. This no-fault program is the exclusive remedy for such infants and their parents against participating physicians and hospitals, who must pay an annual assessment.

Virginia’s forward-thinking reforms have resulted in a healthcare liability climate that discourages frivolous lawsuits and maintains reasonable medical liability insurance rates. The Virginia Board of Medicine has reported since 1999, the year annual increases to the cap began, 96 percent of paid malpractice claims have been less than $1.1 million, and less than 2 percent of paid claims have exceeded $1.5 million.


Latest Medical Malpractice Insurance News in Virginia

June 2011

During the 2011 General Assembly legistlation (House Bill (HB 1459) and Senate Bill (SB 771)) was passed by Virginia lawmakers to put in place a series of defined increases in the cap that can be recovered in legal actions against doctors and other healthcare providers for medical malpractice. The current cap is set at $2 million and starting July 1st 2012 this will increase by $50,000 each year for the next 20 years. The purpose was to bring a long term stability to the medical malpractice cap so that physicians and liability insurance carriers could plan ahead without the volatility of unforseen changes in the cap down the road.

While the bill was initially vetoed by Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell enough votes were secured to overide the veto and put the law into effect. The Medical Society of Virginia was one of the groups who aggressively pursued this outcome to help ensure that Virginia doctors would be able to continue to provide quality care to their patients without the threat of huge malpractice payouts hanging over their heads.


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