Every year we are surprised with a number of lawsuits that shock us to our core, and some that just seem utterly and completely ridiculous. However, some make you wonder how they will ever be paid. If you are a doctor, surgeon, or dentist, the chances of you being sued, unfortunately, is much higher than the average person. The same goes for those who are in a high-risk profession.
Here are just a few of lawsuits verdicts and settlements that have occurred over the last several years.
- In 2005, an $11.4 Million award was rendered for a birth that resulted in Cerebral Palsy.
- A New York Woman received a $15 million award when her doctor failed to diagnose her with breast cancer a year prior.
- A Minnesota court awarded $23.2 million due to a birth injury where the child was deprived of oxygen.
- A Virginia man was awarded $25 million due to his doctor failing to diagnose his heart condition.
These are just a few of the cases that occur every year in this country. If you are a doctor, surgeon, or dentist who happens to be one on the receiving end of this type of lawsuit, you could find yourself in a very difficult position.
Maybe there isn’t enough insurance to cover the damages?
Maybe your business and asset protection structure aren’t the soundest, and your personal assets could be at risk?
Maybe you don’t have the personal assets to pay the judgment if you were to be held liable, and your wages could be garnished for many, many years to come.
One of the many ways that we assist our clients is to review their current asset protection structure and determine what holes there are and how we can fill those holes so that their professional practice and their personal assets are provided with the utmost protection.
One of the recent advents in the law is the creation of the Domestic Asset Protection Trust. This is a self-settled trust that can be established in such a manner so that your personal assets are insulated from creditors. However, there are many restrictions. Listed below are some of the requirements:
- A third-party trustee must take title to your assets and serve as the initial trustee.
- The assets titled to the trust must be unencumbered assets and have to be administered in Tennessee.
- You must execute an affidavit stating that the transfer of the assets will not render you insolvent, you do not intend to defraud any creditor, there are no pending or threatened legal actions against you, and you do not contemplate filing for bankruptcy.
These are just a few of the rules when it comes to establishing a domestic asset protection trust.
If you are in a high-risk profession and have further questions, please give us a call so that we may discuss your legal matter and determine which asset protection strategy may be best for you, your business, and your family.