Are California doctors and lawyers required to have malpractice insurance? Ask the lawyer – Daily Breeze

Q: Two questions: First, my uncle has a lawsuit against a doctor for medical malpractice, but apparently the doctor did not and does not have insurance. Isn’t he required to have malpractice coverage?

K.T., Torrance

A: California law does not require physicians to carry malpractice insurance. A hospital or facility where a doctor works, however, may require the doctor to have malpractice insurance.

Q: Second question: The retainer agreement my uncle signed with the lawyer handling his case references malpractice insurance. Are lawyers in California required to have malpractice coverage?

K.T., Torrance

A: California lawyers, like doctors, are not required to have malpractice insurance. But, under California Rule of Professional Conduct 3-410, lawyers here are required to disclose in writing to the prospective client, at the time the client retains the lawyer, that he or she does not have malpractice coverage (if it is likely the lawyer will spend more than 4 hours on the task for which he or she is being retained).

Are California doctors and lawyers required to have malpractice insurance? Ask the lawyer