Pick up Malpractice! They went after my license. - page 3

www.nso.com A few months ago I was unjustly fired after a resident died, after my shift, and after she had been released from the emergency room. She had trouble swallowing something at lunch... Read More

  1. by   Kyrshamarks
    Quote from dardeedee
    Having insurance isn't discoverable. You can't be sued for more just because you have insurance. You can't count on your employer to cover your a**. They will hang it out to dry instead. You should always follow policy and procedures, document everything, and carry your own policy. It costs less than 100 dollars a year. That is a small price to pay compared to losing your house and everything you own.

    Actually having insurance is discoverable. If yopu are called in to give a deposition which is done many times BEFORE the final suit is filed they can and will ask if you have private insurance. If you lie and say no then you have committed perjury. If you do carry the insurance you can be added as a defendant even after the suit has been fioled. Upuntill the time there is a settlement you can be added as well as possibly be sued seperately.
  2. by   morte
    Quote from Kyrshamarks
    Actually having insurance is discoverable. If yopu are called in to give a deposition which is done many times BEFORE the final suit is filed they can and will ask if you have private insurance. If you lie and say no then you have committed perjury. If you do carry the insurance you can be added as a defendant even after the suit has been fioled. Upuntill the time there is a settlement you can be added as well as possibly be sued seperately.
    would a better answer be "none of your business" or "i decline to answer"? or"that is not pertinent"
    Last edit by morte on Mar 18, '07 : Reason: adding
  3. by   Sheri257
    Quote from Kyrshamarks
    Actually having insurance is discoverable. If yopu are called in to give a deposition which is done many times BEFORE the final suit is filed they can and will ask if you have private insurance. If you lie and say no then you have committed perjury. If you do carry the insurance you can be added as a defendant even after the suit has been fioled. Upuntill the time there is a settlement you can be added as well as possibly be sued seperately.
    This is a possibility. And, because of this, people say ... don't get insurance. You could be added to the lawsuit, like it's the most horrible thing.

    But I think ... So What?

    So they add me to the lawsuit because I have insurance. I'm not going let some two bit money grubbing lawyer prevent me from protecting myself with my own insurance.

    I'm not afraid of lawyers and I don't think anyone else should be either. I've litigated four court cases as a plaintiff and, most of the judges I appeared before were pretty reasonable. IMO, most judges would see through this crap pretty quick if some lawyer tried to drag me into a case just because I had insurance.

    I wouldn't hesitate to point this out to the judge either. Imagine how a case like this would look to the judge: especially if you're only added to the lawsuit after they discovered you had insurance, not because you had any real liability. I'm pretty confident that I could convince a judge to dismiss the case against me right there.

    You know ... I've encountered some pretty dumb lawyers and I've beat them in court every time. It's not like they're the almighty. Fear is what they are counting on but, it only works if you are afraid and let them get away with it. As long as you've documented and covered yourself ... it's really not that big of a deal to fight it, IMO.

    While lawyers don't scare me .... NOT having my own insurance terrifies me. I don't trust any hospital to represent my interests. As the OP points out, they won't hesitate to screw you if they try to cover their butt and blame you for what they did. Nobody is going to look out for my best interests but me.

    :typing
    Last edit by Sheri257 on Mar 18, '07
  4. by   UM Review RN
    I agree. Not having insurance nowadays is just plain scary for nurses. Stuff happens and nurses are at the bottom of the licensure totem pole and often scapegoated because we are such easy targets.

    We shouldn't make it so easy for someone else to ruin our lives by threatening our licenses and our careers.
    Last edit by UM Review RN on Mar 18, '07
  5. by   GeminiTwinRN
    I'm sorry you went through this ordeal, but happy that you had a good outcome!

    Thanks for the link. You reminded me to do something I've been forgetting to do, and now have applied online for my malpractice insurance. It is costing me $49/yr. Very inexpensive!
  6. by   chip193
    Quote from morte
    would a better answer be "none of your business" or "i decline to answer"? or"that is not pertinent"
    You can't do that in a civil deposition. Letting someone know that you have insurance is not something that is criminal, so you must answer the question truthfully.
  7. by   Sheri257
    Quote from leslasic
    You reminded me to do something I've been forgetting to do, and now have applied online for my malpractice insurance. It is costing me $49/yr. Very inexpensive!
    This is another reason why I don't understand claims that nurses shouldn't have liability insurance because it supposedly encourages lawyers to name you in a lawsuit. It doesn't make much sense.

    Think about it: why are the premiums so cheap? The most I've heard of anybody paying is $100 a year. If nurses were being sued all the time and if a bunch of settlements were being paid, the insurance companies would probably charge a hellava lot more than $50-$100 a year.

    Afterall, that's why MD insurance premiums cost a fortune. While there is the occassional multi-million dollar judgement the fact is: nurses are generally good liability risks.

    I personally think there's a much higher risk of the hospital trying to blame you for something they're responsible for and reporting you to the BON, as was the case with the OP. I think hospital scapegoating is much more likely to happen than some lawyer trying to name you in a lawsuit just because you have insurance.

    Besides .... from what I've seen: it's nurse practitioners who get sued more than anybody else obviously, because they have much more responsiblity. And, of course, OB nurses because the damages can be so much higher with an infant than, for example, an elderly patient with a limited life span.

    :typing
    Last edit by Sheri257 on Mar 18, '07
  8. by   Sheri257
    I was just checking NSO's rates because I'd always heard that Texas nurse liability insurance was more expensive, and it seems to be true. Still cheap but more than double what it would cost in California.

    But here's the thing: for $45 (which is a new grad discount) I can get up to $6 million worth of coverage in California ....

    But for $116 (also at new grad discount) I can only get $300,000 of coverage in Texas, nothing more.

    So, it may also vary by state.

    :typing
    Last edit by Sheri257 on Mar 18, '07
  9. by   gauge14iv
    State boards of insurance and state laws (such as liability caps) will also affect what insurance can be purchased or is needed from state to state. They also govern rates to some degree.

    Florida is a tough place for malp insurance for nurses too.

    I agree that it's too cheap and too important to NOT have it, no matter what setting or state you practice in. If nothing else it will pay attorney fees for any frivolous suit that might be filed.
  10. by   Sheri257
    Quote from gauge14iv
    Florida is a tough place for malp insurance for nurses too.
    Doesn't seem to be. You can get the same $6 million coverage in Florida also for about $116 with no discount.

    :typing
  11. by   TraumaGirl1018
    i am sooo glad i opened this thread! Our instructors NEVER said anything about malpractice insurance!

    Ok, so if I am to graduate in May, should I get coverage then, or should I wait until I take (and hopefully pass) the NCLEX? Because I will be working as a GN for awhile...
  12. by   gauge14iv
    Get it as soon as you can
  13. by   SuesquatchRN
    Quote from TraumaGirl1018
    i am sooo glad i opened this thread! Our instructors NEVER said anything about malpractice insurance!

    Ok, so if I am to graduate in May, should I get coverage then, or should I wait until I take (and hopefully pass) the NCLEX? Because I will be working as a GN for awhile...
    You can get it now, as a student.

    Thanks, everyone, for your support. It was a bad experience to be fired, lemme tell you! I came close to joining the "I'M LEAVING NURSING FOREVER!!!" threads.

    But I didn't. And there are good facilities out there.


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