Most neurosurgery malpractice claims result from dissatisfaction following spinal surgery, although claims after cranial surgery tend to be more expensive. Continued pain, permanent paralysis, nerve damage, the need for additional surgery, and infection are among the most common complaints in lawsuits.
Neurosurgery malpractice payouts are higher than most specialties. According to Top Neuro Docs, from 2006 to 2016 “the average payment for cases that settled was $379,860, the average award for cases tried was $405,350” and it is “estimated that 11 years of a surgeon’s career is spent with a malpractice claim outstanding”.
Though many states have caps on non-economic damages, most states do not have a cap on economic costs caused by the injury. Neurosurgeons also must consider the cost of hiring an attorney when a malpractice case is brought against them.
Because neurosurgeons have a high potential of being sued, it is important they carry robust medical malpractice insurance from A-rated carriers. An A-rated carrier (rated by A.M. Best) will be able to cover:
Though many (not all) states have no legal requirement for neurosurgeons to carry malpractice insurance, most hospitals require it if you want admitting privileges.