Malpractice Insurance: Having your own policy is a NECESSITY - page 5

New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) REPORT: April 2003 Malpractice Insurance: Having your own policy is a NECESSITY! by Mark Genovese You may never have to use a professional liability... Read More

  1. by   mscsrjhm
    Quote from Angie O'Plasty, RN
    So help me understand here:

    Nurse A hangs the wrong medication. Patient goes to ICU but ultimately succumbs. Hospital fires Nurse A and reports to BON. Family sues. BON investigates. Nurse A cannot find gainful employment while being investigated and cannot afford a lawyer because she's unemployed.

    Is Nurse A still represented by the hospital lawyer in the lawsuit? Who represents her before the BON?
    I dont think I want Nurse A taking care of my family. (That would make a great thread.)
    Last edit by mscsrjhm on Aug 12, '07 : Reason: idiocy again
  2. by   UM Review RN
    Quote from Mschrisco
    I dont think I want Nurse A taking care of my family. (That would make a great thread.)
    But honey, these things do happen, even to good nurses. Poor staffing is one cause of this type of error. Pharmacy and doctors might very well make errors in calculating or ordering. Yet the nurse is often the last link in the chain and the one who gets fired, sued, and ruined over it.
  3. by   reesern63
    Quote from killuwa
    reading all these postings make me feel uncomfortable working anymore. lol. But I love my chosen profession, and I love caring to people. hope it returns good to me.
    Quote from WitchyRN
    What it comes down to for me is this: Do I trust my employer(or ANY employer) these days not to screw me over? The answer for me is no...I think the insurance is worth it because it provides a lawyer for you if you get sued, defends you if you have to deal with the BON etc. I know several LNCs (legal nurse consultants, for those who don't know)and all of them recommend your own policy..The hospitals like to discourage you because when you have your own policy, they are not in complete control of the whole situation.
    People are so litigious these days, they will go after anyone-nurses included. I've witnessed it firsthand and it made such an impression. This nurse also got sued by the hospital afterward. The cost comes out to less than 10.00 a month-completely worth it to me. PS. My policy covers some of the cost of a lawyer which to me is better than putting myself at the mercy of the hospital.
    Hospitals don't even stick to the basic good faith employment rights. Why should we be stupid enough to think they'd back us up in a lawsuit? You'd better believe they'd be looking for a way to drop a nurse named in a lawsuit in a New York minute.

    I'll pay the $100 for the policy, thank you very much.
  4. by   reesern63
    Quote from Mschrisco
    I dont think I want Nurse A taking care of my family. (That would make a great thread.)
    Excuse me, are you even a nurse? The best and brightest nurses make mistakes. Good Lord, if we got rid of every nurse who ever made a med error there would be a handful of nurses left.
  5. by   reesern63
    Quote from Mschrisco
    I dont think I want Nurse A taking care of my family. (That would make a great thread.)
    And actually, it would make a terrible thread. It's extremely disrespectful to those of us who are nurses.
  6. by   DeLana_RN
    Quote from Mschrisco
    You are covered by the facility insurance policy. If you are named in a civil action, it will be along with the facility, and as an employee of the facility.
    Attorneys do not "go after" the average working joe- they would lose money. The insurance companies have the $$.
    Your malpractice insurance company's lawyers are not working for you ("on your side",) they are on the insurance company's side.
    No one is going to fight for your innocence...it is all a big game of money and bedfellows. It is about the money.
    Most people experience auto and homeowners insurance, and this is totally different. Researching is tricky due to the $$ and propaganda from insurance companies.
    Think about how involved malpractice companies are with student nursing organizations or with the schools themselves. Hasn't anyone ever questioned this?

    However, if it makes a person sleep better, it may be worth the money-
    As for me, no.
    My insurance company's lawyers are of course agents of their employer and thus tasked to achieve the best possible outcome for same; however, they do this by defending their client (me) - for if I'm found guilty of malpractice, this same insurance company will be responsible for paying the claim. Therefore, they will most definitely be on my side.

    On the other hand, my hospital's lawyers are much more inclined NOT to look out for my best interest because if they were to represent me (e.g., by proving that short-staffing or an unreasonable assignment was a contributing factor to my alleged malpractice) they would not truly act in the best interest of their employer, the hospital (in fact, they would most likely argue that there was no short-staffing and that the hospital shares no blame - that it's my fault alone, as the "negligent" nurse).

    Therefore, I would never rely on my employer's lawyers and insurance company to represent me (in fact, I would expect my own lawyer and insurance company to represent my interests and to protect me from my employer's lawyers!) Paranoid? No, realistic.

    DeLana
    Last edit by DeLana_RN on Aug 12, '07
  7. by   teeituptom
    I have never had and never will have malpractice insurance
  8. by   tddowney
    Quote from elkpark
    As for the comment about lawyers being evil, as an attorney friend of mine commented many years ago, everyone thinks attorneys are evil until they need one, and then it's suddenly a different story ...

    Yes, but the reason I need one is because some other evil attorney forced me into hiring one.
  9. by   tddowney
    Quote from WitchyRN
    Funny, but I had orientation this week and earlier this week someone had posted that their risk management person advised against malpractice insurance. Guess what, so did the woman who talked to us!!:angryfire We have several new grads so I feel that what she said was damaging. She gave us the old line that we were more likely to be sued if we had our own insurance, that the hospital would never hang us out to dry..blah blah blah...When we went to lunch, I made sure to correct the erroneous info she gave out. I'm such a troublemaker!! I also gave out the number for NSO.(that's what I have)

    Either that is a very mis-informed or very dishonest risk manager.

    The hospital could have reason to discourage nurses from having their own insurance. If you're footing the bill for your own lawyers, it's less likely that you'll make your own case, which could contradict the hospital position.
  10. by   tddowney
    Quote from sirI
    :yeahthat:

    If you, as the entity employee, are found out of hospital protocol/procedure and/or your nursing SOP, the entity attorney will not represent you.

    Bingo.
  11. by   mscsrjhm
    Quote from reesern63
    Excuse me, are you even a nurse? The best and brightest nurses make mistakes. Good Lord, if we got rid of every nurse who ever made a med error there would be a handful of nurses left.
    Yes, I am a nurse, and have been one for over 25 years.
    I have made medication errors, however, have never personally witnessed a medication error so great that a person dies.
    (It was very worrisome to me when it was reported that hundreds of thousands die yearly from medication errors, since I have lived and worked in 3 large metro cities and never witnessed anything like those reported medication errors. Hospitals/SNFs/Clinics/Home Health/Private Duty..Never saw a life changing medication error.)
    In the scenario with Nurse A (initially re insurance), a patient died.
    Wasn't just a med error. It was a MED ERROR.
    No, I don't want Nurse A taking care of my family.
  12. by   UM Review RN
    Quote from Mschrisco
    Yes, I am a nurse, and have been one for over 25 years.
    I have made medication errors, however, have never personally witnessed a medication error so great that a person dies.
    (It was very worrisome to me when it was reported that hundreds of thousands die yearly from medication errors, since I have lived and worked in 3 large metro cities and never witnessed anything like those reported medication errors. Hospitals/SNFs/Clinics/Home Health/Private Duty..Never saw a life changing medication error.)
    In the scenario with Nurse A (initially re insurance), a patient died.
    Wasn't just a med error. It was a MED ERROR.
    No, I don't want Nurse A taking care of my family.
    Fine. Be that as it may, some families have actually had Nurse A and have had family members die.

    So can anyone answer my original question?

    Here's a link to a case from the NSO archives to illustrate:


    http://www.nso.com/case/cases_area_i...&area=Hospital
  13. by   mscsrjhm
    Quote from Angie O'Plasty, RN
    So help me understand here:

    Nurse A hangs the wrong medication. Patient goes to ICU but ultimately succumbs. Hospital fires Nurse A and reports to BON. Family sues. BON investigates. Nurse A cannot find gainful employment while being investigated and cannot afford a lawyer because she's unemployed.

    Is Nurse A still represented by the hospital lawyer in the lawsuit? Who represents her before the BON?
    Hospital lawyers do not represent anyone
    Insurance carrier have their own attorneys
    (this is a huge misconception by nurses-and a very significant one)

    Nurse A represents herself before the Board, or she hires an attorney
    Last edit by mscsrjhm on Aug 13, '07

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