Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=981192
 
 

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Physicians' Insurance Limits and Malpractice Payments: Evidence from Texas Closed Claims, 1990-2003


Kathryn Zeiler


Georgetown University Law Center

Bernard S. Black


Northwestern University - School of Law; Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Charles Silver


University of Texas at Austin - School of Law

David A. Hyman


University of Illinois College of Law

William M. Sage


University of Texas at Austin School of Law


Journal of Legal Studies, pp. s9-s45, 2008
Georgetown Law and Economics Research Paper No. 981192
NYU Law and Economics Research Paper No. 07-16
U Illinois Law & Economics Research Paper No. LE07-008
U of Texas Law, Law and Econ Research Paper No. 67

Abstract:     
Physicians' insuring practices influence their incentives to take care when treating patients, their risk of making out-of-pocket payments in malpractice cases, and the adequacy of compensation available to injured patients. Yet, these practices and their effects have rarely been studied. Using Texas Department of Insurance data on 9,525 paid malpractice claims against physicians that closed 1990-2003, we provide the first systematic evidence on levels of coverage purchased by physicians with paid liability claims and how those levels affect out-of-pocket payments and patient compensation. We find that these physicians carried much less insurance than is conventionally believed, that their real primary limits declined steadily over time, that policy limits often act as effective caps on recovery, and that personal contributions by physicians to close claims were rare. Our findings call into question a number of common assumptions about the relationship between physician insuring practices and the medical malpractice liability system.

For a shorter, summary version of this research, see Charles Silver, Kathryn Zeiler, Bernard Black, David Hyman & William Sage, Malpractice Payouts and Malpractice Insurance: Evidence from Texas Closed Claims, 1990-2003, Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance yyy-zzz (forthcoming 2008), available at http://ssrn.com/abstract=983199.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 45

Keywords: medical malpractice, insurance, liability

JEL Classification: G22, K13, K41

Accepted Paper Series


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Date posted: April 20, 2007 ; Last revised: March 21, 2008

Suggested Citation

Zeiler, Kathryn and Black, Bernard S. and Silver, Charles and Hyman, David A. and Sage, William M., Physicians' Insurance Limits and Malpractice Payments: Evidence from Texas Closed Claims, 1990-2003. Journal of Legal Studies, pp. s9-s45, 2008; Georgetown Law and Economics Research Paper No. 981192; NYU Law and Economics Research Paper No. 07-16; U Illinois Law & Economics Research Paper No. LE07-008; U of Texas Law, Law and Econ Research Paper No. 67. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=981192

Contact Information

Kathryn Zeiler (Contact Author)
Georgetown University Law Center ( email )
600 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States
Bernard S. Black
Northwestern University - School of Law ( email )
375 E. Chicago Ave
Unit 1505
Chicago, IL 60611
United States
512-503-2784 (Phone)

Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management
2001 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208
United States
847-491-5049 (Phone)
European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)
Brussels
Belgium
Charles M. Silver
University of Texas at Austin - School of Law ( email )
727 East Dean Keeton Street
Austin, TX 78705
United States
512-232-1337 (Phone)
512-232-1372 (Fax)
David A. Hyman
University of Illinois College of Law ( email )
504 E. Pennsylvania Avenue
Champaign, IL 61820
United States
William Matthew Sage
University of Texas at Austin School of Law ( email )
727 East Dean Keeton Street
Austin, TX 78705
United States
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