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.
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.
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
Quote from RNin92
it is interesting to me read these posts.
none of us would consider driving our cars without car insurance. we don't slack off on our driving ability because we carry the insurance.
we all (i hope) have health insurance. we don't lead lives that are completley unhealthy (ETOH does NOT count) just because we have insurance.
as a homeowner i carry homeowners insurance. i don't let the roof cave in just because "it is insured"
as far as the lawyers "going after the money"...
i have never been involved in a malpractice suit (thank the Godess) but i still carry my own insurance. i think that you are right...the attys will follow the money trail...but it can cost a pretty penny to defend yourself and the small little trail you have.
it doesn't matter if you are Florence Nightengale and practice perfect nursing and never break a standard of care. your name on the chart is enough. usually the nurses are eliminated from the suit once they figure out who is who...but until then there better be SOMEBODY whose only goal is MY best interest.
i carry insurance and i always will.
by the way...what happens if you are a bystander from something and you give aid? yes i know all about good-samaratin laws. but until the lawsuit is thrown out...who's protecting you? whose paying for your legal fees? not the hospital...whatever happened was outside the hospital coverage. you stand alone my friend.
Well, I did a little research on my own, since no one has done any..
Read this link and see what you think: www.nursingceu.com/NCEU/course
Click on course and scroll down to Protecting Yourself from a Professional Misconduct Disclipline..
Read paragraph #5 under the heading Your responsibility to yourself. Read the last sentence..But read the whole article to.. ONCE you have been involved in a malpractice suit it sticks around to haunt you. And no amount of money or insurance is gonna fix that. You are a sitting duck with malpractice insurance.
I believe your comparison to health, home owners insurance etc is a weak one. We most certainly do let our health go down hill. Have you heard of the obesity rates in this country? Do you know people are still smoking and new one's are added every day. Home owner's insurance is for things we might not be able to prevent, i.e. fire from a neighbor's home, or a forest fire , act's of mother nature. We are smart to have that protection.
And again I bet those lawyers are combing the chart looking for nurse whose name is associated with malpractice insurance..Let's decide here that most nurses don't have a million to 3 million dollars socked away in the bank or their houses.
The aggravation is being named to begin with. Unjustly as I stated before because I have (malpractice insurance) that is easily accessed.
Read the article I posted .. There is no money for a lawyer... Read the fine print in your policy. You might be surprised by it.
P.S. If you are afraid of using the Good Samaritan Laws don't use them ..Don't get involved.
Last edit by ESRD on Feb 14, '04