Q: Can I file for medical malpractice claim compensation if my health insurance covered the treatment costs?
Yes, an individual can recover medical malpractice claim compensation even if health insurance covered the treatment costs. However, in this context it is worth mentioning that the health insurance company that has incurred the expenses of medical treatment is entitled to recover its costs if the plaintiff receives a settlement.
Subrogation in a Medical Malpractice Claim
Generally, the insurance companies include a clause in the policy contract specified as “subrogation,” which allows them to recover compensation for their costs from the plaintiff’s settlement recovery. However, per Georgia Code §33-24-56.1, the health insurance may only recover its costs if the injury victim has been made whole.
This means that the victim’s own expenses (economic and noneconomic damages) must be accounted for in the personal injury claim before the health insurance company can recover its costs from the settlement. If the recovery does not make the victim whole again, then the health insurance company may not recover compensation from the settlement for its own expenses.
Legal Help for Medical Malpractice Victims in Atlanta
While the Georgia law protects victims of medical malpractice and other personal injuries from insurance companies recovering too much from a settlement, victims should still seek consultation with an attorney.
Not only can a lawyer ensure the insurance company does not overstep limits in its ability to recover from the settlement, an attorney can be instrumental in reaching a fair settlement for the victim. Evidence collection, expert witness testimony, and case organization may be a major factors in presenting a strong case for compensation. Considering that most medical malpractice claims take almost two years to solve (four years from the event in question) according to a New York Times article written by Dr. Pauline W. Chen, most victims simply do not have the resources to handle it alone.
The Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, P.C. provides legal assistance to victims seeking compensation for medical malpractice. Call us today to schedule your consultation with a lawyer: (404) 474-0804.