Malpractice Insurance - page 2

How many of you carry personal malpractice insurance? If you do, what area of nursing do you practice? In OB, which is one of the higher liability areas, we were discussing if it is a good idea... Read More

  1. by   3651bht
    A couple of flaws in your thinking. First you could still lose your license, get fired and lose your home, car etc with or without insurance. Next ask an OB or surgeon what he pays for malpractice insurance. The probability of a lawsuit is proportional to the amount of money you have to pay for it. Also the area where you work. Just as insurance costs more for that Mercedes. If you insure an Escort you pay less. The insurance companies have it all figured out.... Yes, I could sue anyone I want to today but would I get anything probably not and would any compentent attorney take the case. Probably not.... The lawsuit involving the hot coffe from the golden arches netted that elderly lady $10,000.....The rest was eaten up in attorney's fees. Of course, they are going to encourage you to carry insurance it's a source of revenue for them..... Also, if you lost your home, etc you have probably gone into a criminal area and will probably spend time behind bars so you won't have to worry about a roof over your head.. .. TTFN
  2. by   sharann
    HA! I certainly DO carry my own. I work in Stable Tele and am an RN with under a yrs exp. However, if I had 20 yrs I'd still carry malpractice ins. Because, the hospital will cover it's own a** before a lowly nurses!Even in a supportive (huh?) environment. The bottom line= $$$. Look at our staffing ratios. We need coverage(In my region we do).

    p.s: It's NO ONE's buisiness if you do or do not carry malpractice insurance. I think that if we are professionals we need to protect ourselves as such. Good topic!
  3. by   Q.
    I just bought a contract for my own malpractice insurance. As an OB nurse, and for 3million dollars of coverage per incident, the annual rate is $88. It didn't seem that much to me to have some sort of protection.

    My hospital wouldn't even be up front with us about closing our unit down, so I don't think I would trust them to cover me! Not to mention, if the liability occurred related to something the hospital should be responsible for - such as staffing us too unsafely, etc - I want to make sure that I have something to fall on.

    The insurance policy will also provide me with an attorney, and they give helpful hints about what to do immediately after being named in a suit.

    Do any of you remember those 3 RNs back in Colorado who were sued for the death of the neonate? I wonder if any of them had personal malpractice insurance?
  4. by   JennieBSN
    Wow. Y'all are scaring me. Now I'm thinking I need to go get insurance!! At my hospital, several nurses have been involved in UGLY lawsuits over the span of 20 some years (susy k...you'll understand this...they involved the zavenelli's maneuver!), and all were provided EXCELLENT legal counsel. The hospital indeed covered them, and it did so very well. I dunno. I guess I should talk to a scum-sucking lawyer for the lowdown.
  5. by   Brownms46
    Originally posted by kday:
    Wow. Y'all are scaring me. Now I'm thinking I need to go get insurance!! At my hospital, several nurses have been involved in UGLY lawsuits over the span of 20 some years (susy k...you'll understand this...they involved the zavenelli's maneuver!), and all were provided EXCELLENT legal counsel. The hospital indeed covered them, and it did so very well. I dunno. I guess I should talk to a scum-sucking lawyer for the lowdown.

    Heyyyy watch the name calling...I got scum-sucking lawyer friends!

    I have to put in my .25 cents worth. What about the nurse who works per diem? Do you think the hospital would cover you, or do you feel your agency would cover you? Being per diem, you run the risk of not knowing what a hospital policy is, and if you don't follow the policy, there is a good chance you would be left out in the cold if a lawsuit was brought. Example...you preform a skill not allowed at a particular hospital, but you have obtained the ok from the charge nurse to do so. Only after you preform the skill with no difficulty, you find out, that you weren't allow to do that procedure. If something adverse happened to this pt., even though you didn't cause it. But when the case goes to court, and this came out, who do you think would cover you?

    Brownie
  6. by   MollyJ
    I carry malpractice to the max available. It is relatively cheap at $140.00/year in my state. I personally hope to keep throwing this money down the drain til I retire, since I have never used it (22 years).

    I was involved peripherally in a case that involved a hospital based patient I helped care for. The fact that I carried malpractice was never inquired about or noted by the the hospital or plaintiff's attorney. Indeed, if I had been found at fault in causing this law suit to the hospital, I am told that hospitals can and do counter sue nurses and I worried about having the appearance of relatively deep pockets because of my husband's income. It did not happen. I was proud of our hospital team who were involved in this defense; we pulled together, were professional. I think our charting and our composure in deposition did help the hospital's case (and by the way, our own).

    The cost of a malpractice premium tells you that nurses are still relatively small fish in this sea, but it is, literally, cheap insurance and if the worst thing happens (in view of our common fault of humanity), it would be nice if you had a malpractice carrier to help you through this situation. Though, interestingly, malpractice carriers are not unlike HMO's and they (can) become a major decider in who defends your case and whether it settles or goes to court.

    Remember, in the deep pockets theory, hospitals and doctors generally have the deepest pockets.
  7. by   Charles S. Smith, RN, MS
    Originally posted by Brownms46:

    Heyyyy watch the name calling...I got scum-sucking lawyer friends!

    I have to put in my .25 cents worth. What about the nurse who works per diem? Do you think the hospital would cover you, or do you feel your agency would cover you? Being per diem, you run the risk of not knowing what a hospital policy is, and if you don't follow the policy, there is a good chance you would be left out in the cold if a lawsuit was brought. Example...you preform a skill not allowed at a particular hospital, but you have obtained the ok from the charge nurse to do so. Only after you preform the skill with no difficulty, you find out, that you weren't allow to do that procedure. If something adverse happened to this pt., even though you didn't cause it. But when the case goes to court, and this came out, who do you think would cover you?

    Brownie
    Any licensed professional should closely examine the ramifications of involvement in a lawsuit. All should carry some sort of coverage. Most policies cover your defense costs, so is a good investment. The cost of your insurance is also tax deductible.

    If you are per diem, you absolutely must carry coverage. Protect yourself first in all cases.

    regards
    chas

  8. by   snappy
    I am currently in school and our class just had a speaker that was an attorney that represents plaintiff's which means he sues the doctors, hospitals and nurses. He did say that generally they do sue the hospitals and doctors but he has also named nurses in lawsuits. He also said that the hospital will cover all employees as long as risk management accepts that the employee was in his/her scope of practice, if they feel the nurses performed any practice that was unacceptable to the hospital policies that the nurse would not be covered. Hospitals aren't going to be to quick to claim fault?
    I do not carry any extra insurance but I might think about it now!
    Also the lawyer said it does depend on the setting that you work such as the example was people who work in doctors office and give out medical advice over the phone, they run a higher risk if they are not documenting or have any proof of the call.
    I guess this is a great thing to rethink for all of us without insurance.
    nur310

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    [This message has been edited by snappy (edited March 31, 2001).]
  9. by   Q.
    Originally posted by Charles S. Smith, RN, MS:
    Originally posted by Brownms46:

    Heyyyy watch the name calling...I got scum-sucking lawyer friends!

    I have to put in my .25 cents worth. What about the nurse who works per diem? Do you think the hospital would cover you, or do you feel your agency would cover you? Being per diem, you run the risk of not knowing what a hospital policy is, and if you don't follow the policy, there is a good chance you would be left out in the cold if a lawsuit was brought. Example...you preform a skill not allowed at a particular hospital, but you have obtained the ok from the charge nurse to do so. Only after you preform the skill with no difficulty, you find out, that you weren't allow to do that procedure. If something adverse happened to this pt., even though you didn't cause it. But when the case goes to court, and this came out, who do you think would cover you?

    Brownie
    Any licensed professional should closely examine the ramifications of involvement in a lawsuit. All should carry some sort of coverage. Most policies cover your defense costs, so is a good investment. The cost of your insurance is also tax deductible.

    If you are per diem, you absolutely must carry coverage. Protect yourself first in all cases.

    regards
    chas

    Wow, I never even looked at that. I am per diem!!!
  10. by   Alicia Keith-Jones
    It's good if you do and good if you don't. Lawyers do see having malpractice insurance
    as a way of getting money from you if you are named in a law suit, and on the other
    hand if you don't have any and is sued,you might have to file for bankruptcy if the hospital does not stand by you.

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    Alicia Keith-Jones
  11. by   realnursealso/LPN
    Suzy, I feel you should have your own malpractice insurance. In this society, with the attitude of most facilities, please protect yourself. If the hospital can figure out a way to shift the blame and the financial responsibility to the nurse they will. I think you said before you work in ob. Please protect yourself,this is my opinion. Sometimes things just happen, it's nobodys fault, but babies die. For some reason people can't accept that things happen. They always figure it was due to someone's negligence. In this day and age of medical miracles, they just can't accept that everything can't be fixed. So I think you said it costs $88/yr. I would say it's worth it...better to have it, than need it someday. You know I should follow my own advise...haven't had any of my own since I was a student...21yrs. ago.

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  12. by   Q.
    Realnurse, thanks for the advice.

    I just saw a TV commercial in my area that was talking about kids with Cerebral Palsy, and that their condition might be the result of your doctors and nurses who delivered your baby! Nurses! It was an ad for an attorney's office. It scared me. I've seen some pretty horrible things in OB and sometimes there just isn't a damn thing we could've done differently - but I have a long way to go yet in my career and I just never know......

    thanks for the advice.

    Not to mention, I might be getting a new job as a phone nurse which I believe someone said was another area that is somewhat risky to practice. Yikes.
  13. by   Brownms46
    Originally posted by Charles S. Smith, RN, MS:
    Originally posted by Brownms46:

    Heyyyy watch the name calling...I got scum-sucking lawyer friends!

    I have to put in my .25 cents worth. What about the nurse who works per diem? Do you think the hospital would cover you, or do you feel your agency would cover you? Being per diem, you run the risk of not knowing what a hospital policy is, and if you don't follow the policy, there is a good chance you would be left out in the cold if a lawsuit was brought. Example...you preform a skill not allowed at a particular hospital, but you have obtained the ok from the charge nurse to do so. Only after you preform the skill with no difficulty, you find out, that you weren't allow to do that procedure. If something adverse happened to this pt., even though you didn't cause it. But when the case goes to court, and this came out, who do you think would cover you?

    Brownie
    Any licensed professional should closely examine the ramifications of involvement in a lawsuit. All should carry some sort of coverage. Most policies cover your defense costs, so is a good investment. The cost of your insurance is also tax deductible.

    If you are per diem, you absolutely must carry coverage. Protect yourself first in all cases.

    regards
    chas

    I totally agree!

    Brownie


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