Arkansas Medical Malpractice Summary

Arkansas

  • The state’s largest insurer covers approximately 45% of the market.
  • Number of providers: 19
  • Number of Physicians: 6,099

Tort Reform

State of Arkansas

There are currently no damage caps on non-economic damages in Arkansas. Punitive damages are limited to the greater of $250,000 or three times the amount of compensatory damages (not to exceed $1,000,000).

A 2003 tort reform measure, called the Civil Justice Reform Act, among other things, limited who could testify as an expert witness in a malpractice trial. However in 2012, the state Supreme Court effectively struck down that portion of the law ruling it unconstitutional.

In addition to the cap on non-economic damages (i.e. pain and suffering, etc.), Title 6-1604 of the Arkansas Statutes sets a cap on punitive damages of the greater of $250,000 or three times compensatory damages. Although punitive damages are relatively uncommon in malpractice cases it is good to know that in Arkansas they do not present a tempting venue to trial lawyers for limitless awards.

Statute of Limitations

In Arkansas, there is a two year statute of limitation from the date of the incident or death, and a one year statute of limitation from the date of discovery. Thus, once the injury is recognized the claimant has one year to file suit. If the case involves a minor of nine years or younger at the time of the negligent act, they have until age eleven to file a claim. If the injury could not have reasonably been discovered by that time, they will have until their nineteenth birthday or two years after discovery of the injury.

Liability Limits

Arkansas has a typical liability limit for medical malpractice insurance of $1,000,000 per occurrence and $3,000,000 aggregate per policy period (1 year). The $1M/$3M limit is fairly standard across the U.S. In some states and mostly in rural areas physicians are allowed to carry lower limits, but most physicians are not comfortable with lower limits. The argument for lower limits is that in the case of a lawsuit attorneys will only go after the amount of the policy limit, so the higher the limit the more money they will sue for. But in today’s litigious environment the $1M/$3M limit is recommended.

Both sides present their cases to the panel and then the panel has 90 days to return a verdict as to whether it is probable that the defendant violated the standard of care and thus the case should go to trial. The statute of limitations is tolled from the time the time the petition for pre-trial screening is submitted until 30 days after the panel issues its findings. The goal is to give both sides the opportunity to settle the dispute informally and apart from litigation.

Summary of the Arkansas Medical Malpractice Insurance Market

Since 2003, the number of companies filing to actively write medical malpractice insurance in Arkansas has slowed. The lack of tort reform and caps on non-economic damages or punitive damages may partially explain this. That said, insurance companies still see very reasonable loss ratios in the state and with nearly 20 providers competing for part of the market doctors, with the help of a good broker should have no problem securing a great deal on malpractice insurance.

The SIMPLEST way
to SAVE money
on medical
malpractice
insurance
for physicians.

eQuoteMD Provides Solutions for Arkansas Medical Liability Insurance

  • “A++” Rated Medical Malpractice Insurance Companies —
    Compare premiums to get the highest quality coverage in Arkansas at the lowest rates possible.
  • Coverage is Available for All Physician Specialties, Groups & Clinics in Arkansas
  • Prior Acts Coverage Included —
    No need to purchase separate tail coverage.
  • Multiple Discounts Available —
    • New to Practice Discounts
    • Claims Free Discounts
    • Medical Group Discounts
    • Part-Time Practice Discounts
    • Years in Practice Discounts
    • American Board Certified Discounts
  • Coverage for All Types of Procedures —
    Examples include, but are not limited to:
    • Medical Spa Procedures
    • Weight Loss (including HCG)
    • Bariatric Surgery

Latest from the eQuoteMD Blog

Everybody Lies

September 26, 2014

TEDMED 2014

September 15, 2014

We Provide Medical Malpractice Insurance to These Counties

Arkansas

Ashley

Baxter

Benton

Boone

Bradley

Calhoun

Carroll

Chicot

Clark

Clay

Cleburne

Cleveland

Columbia

Conway

Craighead

Crawford

Crittenden

Cross

Dallas

Desha

Drew

Faulkner

Franklin

Fulton

Garland

Grant

Greene

Hempstead

Hot Spring

Howard

Independence

Izard

Jackson

Jefferson

Johnson

Lafayette

Lawrence

Lee

Lincoln

Little River

Logan

Lonoke

Madison

Marion

Miller

Mississippi

Monroe

Montgomery

Nevada

Newton

Ouachita

Perry

Phillips

Pike

Poinsett

Polk

Pope

Prairie

Pulaski

Randolph

Saline

Scott

Searcy

Sebastian

Sevier

Sharp

St. Francis

Stone

Union

Van Buren

Washington

White

Woodruff

Yell