As a medical professional, you’ve probably heard plenty of stories about malpractice suits and the trouble they can cause. That’s the reason you likely carry a good amount of malpractice insurance to protect both your business and your personal assets from potential creditors.
How much could you lose? In a word, everything. In a lawsuit, your business and its assets, along with your own home, retirement, bank account, and other possessions could be taken to pay creditors. The average award in a medical malpractice suit is $425,000 if settled out of court. For cases decided by a jury, the average amount exceeds $1 million; however, amounts can soar much higher than that.
Even if a lawsuit is frivolous, you could still face financial disaster. For example, did you know that one of the most likely causes for a patient to sue their dentist is because the dentist is trying to collect on a delinquent account? Sadly, the cause for the suit doesn’t always matter What matters is that you protect yourself before a suit is filed.
Medical Liability Coverage
As you know, medical liability coverage is a major expense. Paying those high premiums can directly impact your ability to make a living. Unfortunately, liability coverage alone is not enough to ensure your assets are safe from creditors. While this type of coverage is vital for medical professionals, there are additional ways to protect your assets, making it unnecessary to buy excessive insurance.
You Have Options
For the best protection, you should have a combination of insurance and asset protection strategies in place. For example, did you know that the way you structure your business legally can have major implications when you are sued? An attorney or CPA can help you restructure your business with little trouble, without paying more taxes.
You also have several other legal tools at your disposal, such as trusts, exemption planning, retirement structuring, and offshore asset management. The best way to learn about and take advantage of these tools is to talk to an asset protection specialist.
Beware of Scams
The arena of asset protection is subject to scams run by people you can’t trust. Some “specialists,” may be marketing bogus asset protection tools or illegal methods. These not only offer no actual protection, but could get you in legal trouble.
This is why it’s important to do your homework when looking for help with asset protection. You should also be very careful about asset protection “kits.” Asset protection is not a DIY project; it’s a complicated process that demands living, breathing legal guidance. Seek out reputable firms, and ask associates for referrals. You are entitled to person-to-person help with every step. Any firm not offering that should be crossed off your list.
Get Peace of Mind
Asset protection planning is an essential part of a successful practice. The cost of asset protection is small when compared to what you’re risking without it. With so many tools available to you, there is no reason not to set your plan in motion today.