Liability Insurance? - page 2

I am a new grad working in L&D. I was thinking about getting libility insurance. Not because I think I'm going to screw up, but several of our professors at school suggested it. Does anyone have... Read More

  1. by   JaneyW
    Elkpark gives some very good advice here. I am married to an attorney with 25 years experience on the defense side of civil litigation, so I have some insight into that side of things. When you purchase the policy, you are purchasing yourself payment for defending you if a case arises. The hospital may also provide you with a defense, but it is always best to have your own counsel that is representing your interests alone. I think it is a bargain for $89 a year (comprehensive coverage from NSO). My husband charges 3-4 times that an hour at the very least for private pay cases. Trust me, it will take several hours for just the simplest of cases.

    That personal policy will also cover you for anything outside of your employment as well. That conversation you have with a neighbor regarding her son's cough, that friend you help out by giving her her insulin shots, etc. I even did a week of camp nursing and was secure that I was covered.

    It may seem like you are creating a deep pocket, but that is just if a judgement actually comes of the issue. There is sooo much more to litigation. You need someone on your side. You can also get tagged for any future earning potential you have. You may be young and have no real assets now, but that may change. And we all know that the future earning potential for nurses is pretty good at the moment!

    It is naive to think that you will be left alone in today's climate. Nursing is a profession with high standards of care to which we are held. This is only becoming more and more relevent in litigation. It may cost you thousands to just get yourself out of a case if you are named. Again, $89 a year is a bargain!
  2. by   JaneyW
    One more thing to think about. When you have insurance to defend you, they will hire an attorney for you and pay all of those bills directly. Although the insurance company pays the attorney (through your insurance contract with them), that attorney is yours. You are the client. If you get sued and need to hire your own counsel, for whatever reason, would you know how to find a good one? Where would you even begin to look? Do you want to have to worry about that when you are stressed and possibly unemployed or suspended (no matter how unfairly or wrongly?). Your insurance company has a bank of attorneys that they hire and work with all of the time for similar types of cases. These attorneys are prescreened, good, and do that type of work all of the time. This takes care of a lot of your stress. Just another thought on the matter.
  3. by   RN/MSN/JD
    Quote from ajf
    I am a new grad working in L&D. I was thinking about getting libility insurance. Not because I think I'm going to screw up, but several of our professors at school suggested it. Does anyone have an opinion about the subject? Suggestions on companies?
    I usually recommend insurance. I do not believe that anyone goes out and plans to cause an injury. But it happens every day in every location, on the highways, on airport runways, on cruise ships, in schools, and in hospitals.

    I have heard recently of hospitals pressuring nurses not to get their own insurance because 'the hospital's insurance won't cover them if they do.'

    Don't know where they came up with that. If the HOSPITAL is sued for the nurse's actions under theory of respondeat superior, they will have to answer regardless. If the NURSE is sued there is no requirement that the hospital defend him/her. And if the hospital DOES defend the nurse, the hospital can turn around and sue the nurse. If the nurse doesn't have anything, there would be no point, but if you have assets this is a possibility. It has happened.

    If you wait for the hospital to cover you, then you will be XXX in any suit that comes your way for nursing care (including advice) you give outside the hospital. If your neighbor calls you in the middle of the night, etc. then you need your own. If you assist at the side of the road - and yes, I know about 'good samaritan' laws, but the 'reasonble person' standard still applies.

    The best insurance policy is an 'occurrence' policy which is not easy to find these days. That means that whatever the limits of your liablity is applies to each occurrence. Most nowadays are 'claims made' policies. A claims made applies the limits of your liability to all claimsmade collectively. If there is more than one claim, the higher payout will be with an 'occurrence' policy.

    There is NO professional liability policy that I know of which covers personal liability. Patient abuse is and example of personal liability.

    One more thought, if you injury a child or a fetus, you are accountable for the injury until one year after the child's 18th birthday. What if the hospital you worked for is no longer in existence on that date?

    Hope this helps.
    Last edit by sirI on Sep 9, '06 : Reason: TOS
  4. by   RN/MSN/JD
    Quote from JaneyW
    One more thing to think about. When you have insurance to defend you, they will hire an attorney for you and pay all of those bills directly. Although the insurance company pays the attorney (through your insurance contract with them), that attorney is yours. You are the client. If you get sued and need to hire your own counsel, for whatever reason, would you know how to find a good one? Where would you even begin to look? Do you want to have to worry about that when you are stressed and possibly unemployed or suspended (no matter how unfairly or wrongly?). Your insurance company has a bank of attorneys that they hire and work with all of the time for similar types of cases. These attorneys are prescreened, good, and do that type of work all of the time. This takes care of a lot of your stress. Just another thought on the matter.
    The body count is also pretty high. You may only see ONE plaintiff attorney, but defense counsel paid for by an insurance company will be there in numbers. You can count on it.
  5. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Never ever without it!!!!!!!! 9 years and premiums are paid in full each year. SO worth it to me....the peace of mind. Especially in OB, I would never be without it.

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