I am just wondering if anyone has ever had false accusations made against them. It just happened to me and I can't believe it. What I think really happened was that I notified the dr's and supervisor that a new patient was going down the tubes and nothing was being done for him by the doctors and I was very concerned. I wonder if that patient died or crashed and they don't want me to testify for the familiy. I am currently looking for an attorney but I don't know if the cost will be worth it. On the other hand I haven't missed a days work, my agency immediately booked me at another facility and I will be getting paid more there. Do I just continue on like nothing happened or do I take a stand since I am being falsely accused of hitting a patient?
Any feedback would be welcome.
I remember when I was in nursing school that we were taught to always have nursing insurance. However, when I went back to school for my healthcare administration degree- my Legal course actually advised against it. The exact quote was, "Do you know what you call healthcare providers with personal insurance? Defendants." The theory is that fault of an incident must be traced to a source of substantial monetary value (physician/malpractice insurance
, hospital, agency, etc.) Of course, the agency has truckloads of insurance- as does the hospital. I feel fairly confident that our insurance would not offset the personal expense for a lawyer in the case described here, but we have in other cases that potentially involved the agency- hence the reason for the insurance. Incidentally, the cost of this insurance is one of the primary causes for small (usually nurse owned) agencies to fail.
Last edit by caduca on Apr 12, '02
Vette, undoubtedly your insurance provider will subscribe to your need to have insurance. For a neutral opinion, I suggest calling a medical defense attorney (and not the one assigned to defend your hospital- but someone completely neutral). Example: A patient dies due to a medication error. Who are they going to sue- the physician, the hospital, the pharmacist, or the nurse? They want to get the biggest $$ amount they can get. Hospitals carry about a 3 million dollar policy (usually). Wouldn't it be more advantageous for them to prove that the hosptial's policy and procedures were not substantial enough to protect the patient from undue harm, than to prove you are a bad nurse? Actually, if they prove you are a bad nurse and that you as an individual caused the problem, then that would make finding fault with the hospital harder. Why would they want to do that (unless your house, car, clothes, or insurance policy, etc are worth 3 million)? Sometimes, multiple persons are sued- but as I demonstrated above the nurse's involvement is usually stated as the hospital's neglect. The physician is almost always sued as well, rather he/she were present or not. You are also correct in assuming the hospital's insurance does nothing for you personally- after all, if the hospital is going to try to prove they did everything right- then perhaps you are a bad nurse- and a nice nursing insurance policy may make that a more convincing case to the party bringing the suit. The absolute best thing a nurse can do to prevent being sued- smile, be polite, and admit when there has been a mistake to the patient. I appreciate your reply- thanks.
Last edit by caduca on Apr 14, '02