Should I get malpractice insurance?

  1. 0
    I am confused. When I worked in Maternity, I kept my own malpractice insurance. When I married and moved to a new job, I was told that having my own malpractice insurance would be a liability for me in the instance of a lawsuit if the prosecuting attorney found out about it???? so I let it lapse.
    Now I am working on a med surg unit and I do not have my own insurance. I really do not expect to have this hospital defend me in the case of a lawsuit....I think they would throw me to the wolves instead. I am thinking about getting my own liability insurance again. But everyone here is telling me don't do it and
    that i will be sorry.
    Can someone else help me clear this up. I don't understand their reasoning in this.


    Vickie
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  4. 115 Comments so far...

  5. 0
    I have and always will have my own malpractice insurance - it is imperative~!
  6. 0
    Anyone may sue anyone for anything at any time (subject to the statute of limitations). Whether or not they recover any money damages is another story. However, without malpractice coverage, even if you win - you lose! Who will pay for your defense? In the event that a judgment is rendered against you - how will you pay? I think you can answer your own question by asking yourself if you would drive an automobile without insurance or not have any health care insurance.

    Malpractice coverage for Nurses costs approximately $80-90 per year. If I discovered that my policy had expired, I would not go to work until coverage was renewed. I have never been sued but I know people who have-without coverage it is a nightmare.
  7. 0
    Most attorneys will tell you they go were the money is.....Hospital, Corporation, Manufacturers ect. In most cases the bedside nurse is not that important. Unless you are blatent in the standard of care. Know your facility. Check with DON there, get all your facts, then decide.
  8. 0
    Quote from Mazzi
    Most attorneys will tell you they go were the money is.....Hospital, Corporation, Manufacturers ect. In most cases the bedside nurse is not that important. Unless you are blatent in the standard of care. Know your facility. Check with DON there, get all your facts, then decide.
    I agree with the other poster.. The attorneys will go after money..i.e. malpractice insurance.

    If insurance is only 80-90 per year that shows how unlikely a nurse is to be sued.. Do they get sued.. Of course they do.. And I contend that the one's that get sued are those who carry malpractice insurance.

    Now I know you are gonna say how will I pay for my defense. If I have no money ie malpractice insurance attorney are less likely to come after me.

    Yes, I might have assests. Let's look at who might get sued.
    #1 A new nurse inexperienced 24. What assests does she/he have "other than malpractice insurance"
    #2 An experienced nurse. 53. Does she have assests .. probably but what is the likely hood of her being sued. Unlikely. Unless she violates the standards of care.
    As for going after my future earnings.. If I have a judgement against me in court for malpractice I might very well be brought up on criminal charges and thus end up in prison and the plantiff can garnish my prison wages..

    I have read several malpractice case studies and the standards of care were breached. Enormously. I also wonder if someone with malpractice insurance might let their guard down and not practice diligently. JMHO..
    I would love to see an unbiased study or the stats of the nurses who are sued. I would love to know how many of them have malpractice insurance. I bet many would be surprised to find that they have it.


    ESRD

    I personally believe the malpractice push is an insurance scare. And a lawyers boon..Remember lawyers benefit handsomely from malpractice insurance.
    As an aside if I have a home I doubt the bank is gonna let anyone have it while I still owe money to them.
  9. 0
    Vickie, we just had a presentation on Nurses Practice Act and malpractice insurance in the RN to BSN program that I am completing. I always thought my hospital would back me, if need be. I feel very differently now. In this world of law suit mania, I would opt to get the insurance, I know I am.
  10. 0
    Malpractice insurance saves you even if you're aren't sued, but there is ANY questions re: your actions. Good luck...believe me - I'm can't say anything more - it is just so very important. Good luck...
  11. 0
    Quote from traumaRUs
    Malpractice insurance saves you even if you're aren't sued, but there is ANY questions re: your actions. Good luck...believe me - I'm can't say anything more - it is just so very important. Good luck...
    Here here !!!!
  12. 0
    Your premise seems to be that the purchase of malpractice will invite a suit that otherwise would not be forthcoming. How will an attorney know if you have malpractice coverage? If an error of omission or an act of commission, i.e., a tort has occurred, Bernie the Attorney will sue everyone in sight and let those who can, pick themselves out of the mess. The attorney will only discover if a nurse has malpractice insurance when he sends the nurse a letter of retainer and an insurer interposes a notice of appearance on behalf of the nurse. The absence of insurance is no guarantee that an attorney will not still pursue the uninsured nurse under the doctrine of respondeat superior (look to the master) which in this case is the hospital. Also, the nurse may have assets in the form of investments, savings, real property. The bank is only interested in the balance of the mortgage which, if a malpractice judgement is substantial, an attorney might agree to dispose of and sell the house for its market value. All this aggravation and risk can be avoided for a mere 80-90 dollars a year. The choice seems clear to me.
  13. 0
    Quote from Salty
    Your premise seems to be that the purchase of malpractice will invite a suit that otherwise would not be forthcoming. How will an attorney know if you have malpractice coverage? If an error of omission or an act of commission, i.e., a tort has occurred, Bernie the Attorney will sue everyone in sight and let those who can, pick themselves out of the mess. The attorney will only discover if a nurse has malpractice insurance when he sends the nurse a letter of retainer and an insurer interposes a notice of appearance on behalf of the nurse. The absence of insurance is no guarantee that an attorney will not still pursue the uninsured nurse under the doctrine of respondeat superior (look to the master) which in this case is the hospital. Also, the nurse may have assets in the form of investments, savings, real property. The bank is only interested in the balance of the mortgage which, if a malpractice judgement is substantial, an attorney might agree to dispose of and sell the house for its market value. All this aggravation and risk can be avoided for a mere 80-90 dollars a year. The choice seems clear to me.
    Attorneys have ways of finding out if you have insurance without taking you to court. And lawsuits are not filed often without cause. You may think they are but they aren't..Again I will say that if I have been in a malpractice suit I am more likely to be brought up on criminal charges and likely land in prison. If that's the case they can garnish my prison wages. If I'm in prison what good are all those assests. And if the suit is big enough the plantiffs just might want it all.. My malpractice insurance and my assests..I hear insurance companies are trying to "sell" us terrorist insurance..Do I need that too.

    Now I know you are gonna say the likely hood of me being imprisoned is slim..And I agree it's about as slim as being in a lawsuit in the first place.

    If I have all those assests I better be practicing nursing the way it's supposed to be practiced.

    I will continue to ask you to produce the stats on nurses being sued and if they have malpractice insurance. I would prefer that you cite an unbiased study. Not from the insurance industry.

    JMHO..

    ESRD.

    I have been a nurse for 24 years. Never carried malpractice insurance don't intend to in the future.. Just the low cost of it tells me the odds are slim.

    The real aggravation, to me, is being named in a lawsuit unjustly because I have malpractice insurance. My sanity may be in question but it's mine.
    Last edit by ESRD on Feb 14, '04


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