A year ago the Georgia legislature passed and the Governor signed a sweeping tort reform bill, motivated in part by intimations — if not outright promises — that the result would be lower malpractice insurance premiums for doctors and hospitals. Now, according to the Office of the Insurance Commissioner, five medical malpractice insurance companies filed requests to increase physicians’ premiums over the past 12 months. In fact, First Professionals Insurance moved to hike physician’s premiums just two days after Governor Perdue’s bill signing ceremony at Northside Hospital. Other companies include G.E. Medical Protective, State Volunteer Mutual Insurance Company, Medical Assurance Company of Mississippi and Medical Mutual Insurance Company of North Carolina.
Insurance costs for Georgia physicians have risen steadily since 2001. While insurance industry lobbyists and the Medical Association of Georgia have blamed the legal system for recent rate hikes, the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America documented a record-breaking profit increase for the industry from 2002-2004: from $3 billion to over $41 billion. In September, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) announced that “the U.S. property and casualty insurance industry holds assets in excess of 1.3 trillion dollars.”
The Shigley Law Firm represents plaintiffs in wrongful death and catastrophic injury cases statewide in Georgia, and in other states subject to the multijurisdictional practice and pro hac vice rules in each state. Ken Shigley was designated as a “SuperLawyer” in Atlanta Magazine and one of the “Legal Elite” in Georgia Trend Magazine. He is a Certified Civil Trial Advocate of the National Board of Trial Advocacy, Chair of the Southeastern Motor Carrier Liability Institute and former chair of the Georgia Insurance Law Institute. He particularly focuses on cases arising from truck wrecks and accidents (tractor trailers truck wrecks, semi truck wrecks,18 wheeler truck wrecks, big rig truck wrecks, log truck wrecks, dump truck wrecks).