It is true that a patient can sue the hospital and individual healthcare professionals in a medical malpractice lawsuit to obtain the maximum amount from multiple insurance policies. However, a healthcare professional’s individual insurance policy is not public information. Therefore, the patient will not become aware of the individual insurance policy until after the healthcare professional is named in a medical malpractice suit. Therefore, having an individual insurance policy does not necessarily increase the likelihood of the healthcare professional getting sued in a medical malpractice case.
However, there is some increased likelihood of the healthcare professional staying in the lawsuit after being sued. In other words, if the patient decides to name the healthcare professional individually as a defendant in the lawsuit along with the hospital, then the patient may be more likely to dismiss the healthcare professional from the lawsuit once it is revealed that he or she does not have an individual insurance policy; however, this is not always the case and depends on several additional factors (e.g., other assets that you may have and your role in the incident). It is important to note that individual insurance policies may provide you with coverage that is not included in the employer’s policy. For example, many individual policies provide license protection benefits that are not provided in an employer’s policy. As a professional, you should strongly consider purchasing insurance that covers the cost of your legal defense if a complaint is filed against your license.