Should I get malpractice insurance NOW!?!

  1. A certain facility I used to work at is being sued by an atty for a family had a member pass away there.
    Since it's the facility being sued and not me specifically, should I get malpractice insurance?
    I hope I don't need it,a s I am not the one that did any wrong, but still, I was working there at the time.
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  2. 42 Comments

  3. by   Nurse Ratched
    I presume that getting insurance now for something that happened before would be pointless - the health insurance equivalent of a pre-existing condition that wouldn't be covered? I'll leave it to you to peruse the various discussions we've had and consider whether you want liability insurance for any future concerns.

    Hoping nothing comes up of your former facility's problem. Based on the little bit you've said, I wouldn't sweat it too much.
  4. by   mscsrjhm
    Quote from Julielpn
    A certain facility I used to work at is being sued by an atty for a family had a member pass away there.
    Quote from Julielpn
    Since it's the facility being sued and not me specifically, should I get malpractice insurance?
    I hope I don't need it,a s I am not the one that did any wrong, but still, I was working there at the time.


    I am extremely anti-insurance. The facility that you work for carries insurance. This insurance covers employees actions. That is what facility insurance is for. Attorneys go after the money--otherwise they could not make a living. Do not compare malpractice insurance to auto insurance. Two TOTALLY different things. Remember, the facility's insurance attorneys will present the employees in the best light possible. They want you to look like Florence Nightingale. So, contrary to uninformed, the facility doesn't "hang you out to dry".
    Think of how much money is spent on malpractice insurance that is totally unnecessary. Say 80$ to 120$ per year per policy. Wow. Insurance companies have enough $$$. Don't add unnecessarily.
    Mschrisco
  5. by   RN4NICU
    If, God forbid, you should ever have to defend your license before the BON (and things can and do get ugly when legal questions arise - you don't have to be guilty for accusations to be made), facility insurance does not cover you there - professional malpractice insurance does
  6. by   GPatty
    Thank you to all others who were kind enough to answer my question. I appreciate it.
    Last edit by canoehead on Jun 30, '04 : Reason: response to personal attack
  7. by   James Huffman
    Be careful.

    Some malpractice insurance covers BON problems. Some doesn't.

    Bottom line? Read the fine print. Carefully.

    By the way, BON issues are a far bigger threat to nurses than an actual malpractice suit. Though BON complaints don't happen often, they are -- statistically speaking -- far more likely than a lawsuit.

    Jim Huffman, RN
  8. by   Katnip
    You don't have to be a bad nurse for a family to take it into their heads to report you to the BON. They could wind up deciding to blame you for a bad outcome.

    You don't have to be a bad practioner in any way for a patient to decide to sue. If they know a lawyer or see ads on TV it doesn't take much to convince them to go for the big bucks, and lawyers DO go after nurses. With or without insurance. Nurses have lost their homes in suits. Not to mention garnishment of future wages.

    Facilities do not always cover a nurse. They do their own investigation, and if they think you've deviated even slightly from policy, they drop you like a hot potato. Also, if the facility is being named in the suit along with its nurses, who do you think the facility lawyers are going to focus on defending? At best the nurses will get minimal assistance.


    Even if your are totally in the clear it takes time and money to defend yourself and keep your name and license protected.
  9. by   altomga
    julielpn...

    I have had my own Professional malpractice since I started nursing. If anything...it gives me piece of mind. I use NSO which DOES cover threats against your license. Yes my facility does have insurance, but in my mind I would rather be safe than sorry...ya know???
    There has been a friend of mine that did have a threat against her license...one of which the hospital would NOT have covered...her NSO insurance covered the cost of a lawyer and going in front of the BON. If she did not have the insurance it would have costed her a pretty penny. I appreciate those that do not believe in having their own insurance, but it is ONLY @ $85.00/yr with what ??? 6 mil total coverage???
    Any hoo....that is my two cents...I will have it until I retire...hopefully I will never need it, but if I do...It is there!
  10. by   CCU NRS
    If you are an intelligent nurse get insurance. You can be Florence Nightingale and a confused or spiteful Pt can accuse you of abuse. If you are solely named in suit by a Pt the facility insurance will not cover you either.

    You don't have to be a bad nurse to have confused Pts. Confused Pts can and will say anything, including I was raped, I was held prisoner, I saw them all drinking and partying all night, I was beaten or just about anything you can think of any person that wants to can call the police and press charges on any other person at any time. $80 a year is about 4 hours of pay and then you have a little peace of mind all the time. Some people are just so great that they never have to worry about anything ever going wrong. I used to be one of them. Now I am insured. Yes insurance companies have plenty of money but car insurance is required by law think about that if you have an accident in your car is the other guy ever insured? Not in my experience and what happens? You have to eat it! I would say if you are even considering it you have probably already made a decision. There will some be who scream against it and say save your money but really I have personally felt very secure since I became insured and to me that is worth it.

    http://www.okcnursingtimes.com/speci...urrent&count=0

    http://allnurses.com/forums/showthre...tice+insurance

    http://allnurses.com/forums/showthre...tice+insurance

    just a few links of interest you may notice some negative comments but you may also notice they are pretty much from a single poster. Also if you scroll to the very bottom of this page they list "like topics" there a few more there.
    Last edit by canoehead on Jun 30, '04 : Reason: quoted personal attack
  11. by   mscsrjhm
    [QUOTE=cyberkat]and lawyers DO go after nurses. With or without insurance. Nurses have lost their homes in suits. Not to mention garnishment of future wages.

    (Which nurse has lost her/his home? Need dates/locations/names. It has NOT happened. If so- when?)

    Facilities do not always cover a nurse. They do their own investigation, and if they think you've deviated even slightly from policy, they drop you like a hot potato. Also, if the facility is being named in the suit along with its nurses, who do you think the facility lawyers are going to focus on defending? At best the nurses will get minimal assistance.
    QUOTE]

    This is just a misunderstanding. The facility lawyers are defending the employees ACTIONS.

    Again: Give names, dates. It is a myth that lawyers go after nurses without insurance: NO MONEY.
  12. by   mscsrjhm
    Quote from CCU NRS
    If you are an intelligent nurse get insurance. You can be Florence Nightingale and a confused or spiteful Pt can accuse you of abuse. If you are solely named in suit by a Pt the facility insurance will not cover you either
    Quote from CCU NRS


    If you are an informed person, you will consider all options. I am an intelligent nurse. Happen to also have legal experience in medmal/neglect. (I really am not taking offense- I don't believe you meant to insult.) My biggest 'beef' is with all the myths that people do not understand, and the insurance companies taking advantage of them. You will not be solely named unless you are wealthy.
  13. by   Katnip
    I know the nurse personally who lost her home and had future wages garnished. Her hospital refused to cover her because they felt she had not followed policy to the letter, though in this case the written policy was very ambiguous and was written to leave a lot of room for nursing judgment.

    I will NOT post her name, place of employment, state where she works and worked, or any other identifying information out of respect for her privacy.
  14. by   mscsrjhm
    Quote from cyberkat
    I know the nurse personally who lost her home and had future wages garnished. Her hospital refused to cover her because they felt she had not followed policy to the letter, though in this case the written policy was very ambiguous and was written to leave a lot of room for nursing judgment.
    Quote from cyberkat

    I will NOT post her name, place of employment, state where she works and worked, or any other identifying information out of respect for her privacy.


    Understood. So, keeping her confidentiality: what was the lawsuit about? It is Extremely unusual for an attorney to "go after" a nurse who doesn't have insurance. If she was working at a hospital, the could not "refuse to cover her" because of not following policy. The hospital doesn't have a say: it is the insurance company. The hospital had to have been sued, also, along with the nurse, because she was an employee. Can you explain some of the situation.

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