The state of Connecticut has a broad statute of limitations on its medical malpractice claims. Typically, injured parties have two years to file their claim against the responsible party, but there are exceptions to that two-year limitation. But, what happens when a plaintiff needs to file a suit past the statute of limitations? In these cases, it is important for the plaintiff to identify whether or not the physician has purchased insurance for these types of claims. This coverage is often referred to as “tail” coverage.
Understanding Standard Claims
Standard insurance claims are made first in a medical malpractice claim. These protect the physician, and only cover errors that were made while the policy was in effect, and during the statute of limitations period.
What is Tail Coverage?
In contrast to the standard malpractice insurance, tail coverage insurance offers a physician protection for all malpractice claims reported after the doctor’s policy has expired or after its cancellation. Consider the following scenario: The physician’s policy was in effect until December 2010. The patient alleges that the physician committed malpractice in September 2010, but he did not bring his suit against the doctor until May 2011. By then, the physician’s initial coverage had expired, or he no longer carried the policy. If the physician did not purchase tail coverage, the doctor is not covered for the claim. If, however, he did, then insurance would pick up the cost of the claim.
There are a few important points to remember with tail coverage:
- It only protects physicians for acts that were committed during the original policy period.
- It does not provide coverage past the insured period.
- There is a different liability limit for claims.
What Options Does a Patient Have, Other Than Tail Coverage?
Not all physicians have tail coverage, so what options will an injured patient have, if the original policy has expired? Some insurance companies do offer to physicians extended reporting, which means that they will accept claims past the expiration date – and only for a specific extended reporting date.
Another option is to look for “nose” coverage. This is coverage that protects the physician for prior acts. It is offered by the physician’s new insurance policy to cover any acts that happened before the new policy went into effect.
Not Sure Which Insurance the Physician Has? Contact a Malpractice Attorney
Understanding the different types of insurance coverage and how they affect your claim is difficult. That is where a medical malpractice attorney can assist you. If you are an injured patient and have a medical malpractice concern, meet with an expert Connecticut malpractice attorney today. An attorney can investigate the types of coverage that the physician may have, including any insurance coverage provided by his or her employer.
Contact Berkowitz and Hanna LLC today to schedule a no-obligation case evaluation. Call 866-479-7909 or contact us online to get started.