Liability Insurance?

  1. 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?
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  2. 17 Comments

  3. by   Jordan
    Hi I am also a new grad. I just secured a policy with NSO Nursing Services Organization. They offer a new grad discount. I was able to apply via fax. You can also apply over the internet. Malpractice insurance is one investment you hope that you never need to collect on!

    Good luck
  4. by   terri_rnc
    to new grad
    get the insurance. nso is the best. i, too, work in l/d and it is a very high risk area.
    if the doctor is sued or the hospital you may have to go to court too. may not be named unless the family goes for the all out guns and names everyone involved with the patient's care.
  5. by   Cmeyer
    Remember patients have a long time to think about litigation-18-21 years.
    Insurance is a good idea
  6. by   Robin MC
    Different perspective here.... Yes we work in a very litigious society but lets face it, the nurse may get named in a suit but primarily the hospital and MD are the ones that need to worry financially. Why you ask? Because the lawyers aren't stupid and know well enough to go where the money is. If you have a huge inheritance or a very wealthy spouse you should consider a modest policy. But otherwise I personally believe it is unnecessary to insure yourself. Yes you can have to go to court, but insurance won't protect you from that. It will only protect you from having to pay if a judgement is rendered against you. So I would do a little research....find out how many RN's have personally had to pay out over a court case?? There might not be even one, or a few at best. I think nurses are unfairly being taken advantage of by the insurance agencys, period. Just my opinion, of course.
  7. by   ICU2L&D
    I agree with Robin. Nurses are rarely the subject of lawsuits because we usually do not have the financial resources to make it worth the attorney's time. One way to make yourself attractive to an attorney is to have a nice big malpractice insurance policy on yourself. The general rule of thumb for personal injury law is that the attorney gets 1/3 of the settlement. In order to have enough to cover the patient's medical expenses, pain and suffering and still have 1/3 for themselves, they need to go for the doctors and the hospitals. Also, most hospitals provide malpractice insurance for their nurses. You may want to check to see if this is the case in your situation.
  8. by   Fay
    Get the insurance! Nurse are seldom named in a lawsuit and they would usually be cvered by their employer. However... Remember, sometimes people take what you say as medical advice, even though that was not the intent. You may say somthing very innocent and someone will take it as Gospel.
  9. by   Pamela67
    I just came back from a conference about birth injury and the law. I have my own insurance and have decided to drop it after learning the lawyers will come after me if they find out I carry my own insurance. The lawyers will go where the money is. The statues of limitation is very long in the obstetrical field and there are people who will sue for almost anything. I would do more research before making a decision to either buy the insurance or, if you have it already, to drop it.
  10. by   10cm
    First, you need to remember that lawsuits are born of unhappy outcomes and dissatisfied people, not necessarily because you "screwed up". You can do everything right yet still have everything go wrong, at least in the eyes of your patient. People expect perfect pregnancies, perfect deliveries and perfect babies. By the law of averages, at sometime in your career, you will face that moment when someone is unhappy with their outcome.
    Second, those unhappy people don't want to ruin your life. What they want is the outcome they expected or desired. In place of that, they will take money. Lots of money. More money than you will ever have or hope to make. That is where the insurance companies fill the void.
    So should you buy insurance? If you are independently wealthy and have a great deal to loose, perhaps you should consider it. But if you work in a hospital for an hourly wage or a modest salary, they probably won't come after your hard earned toys. Beyond that, you should be legally covered by your employer. If you buy insurance it will simply be another deep pocket full of money for lawyers fees .
    At some point in the future, when faced with outcomes either of dubious nature or simple statistics, people who are not friendly will want money to replace their dreams. To accommodate them, lawyers will go to the "deep pocket". The question regarding the need to buy insurance then would then be, do you have a deep pocket?
  11. by   Elisheva
    The insurance will help you with court and attorney costs, which you will probably incur whether or not you are actually sued. I'd rather carrry a $100.00 per year policy than to be out $10,000.00 for some fees and travel. Makes sense to me.
  12. by   elkpark
    Elisheva is right -- the insurance is not just about covering a judgment against you, it's also about paying for legal representation. Just the first hour of consultation with an attorney will cost you more than the annual premium for the insurance -- why take the risk?

    Also, if you believe that your employer hospital's insurance will cover you if anything serious happens you are living in a dream world. I worked for several years as a hospital surveyor for my state and the Feds, and part of my job was investigating patient complaints and unusual/unexpected deaths. Often (typically), when an incident had occurred with a really bad outcome, an incident that obviously had the potential to turn into a lawsuit for the hospital, by the time my team arrived to investigate (often just a day or two after the incident occurred), the hospital administration had already figured out which RN to "blame" and had promptly fired that RN in attempt to minimize the facility's liability ("it wasn't our fault, it was that crazy, dangerous nurse ...") Often, in reviewing the records and investigating the occurrence, it appeared obvious that the RN who got blamed and fired hadn't done anything worse than just happen to be the poor schmoe who had been caring for that patient on that shift. If I saw this scenario once (with my own two eyes), I saw it a hundred times ...

    BUT, as soon as the hospital fires her/him, s/he's no longer covered by the hospital's insurance. And, if s/he doesn't already have an individual policy, there's no insurance company on earth that will offer you coverage for an incident that has already happened, so this nurse is screwed and left to dangle in the wind, all alone.

    Another consideration is that most standard nursing liability policies cover you for legal expenses related to being a witness in a suit against someone else -- and, if you are going to have to be deposed or testify in court for or against a colleague, you want to have your own legal representation. Most standard policies also provide coverage for legal representation if you have to go before the BON for any kind of disciplinary action against your license. Both these situations (being called as a witness and having to defend your license before the BON) are much more likely than you ever actually being sued ... But, again, jut the first hour of consultation with an attorney will cost you more than the annual premium for the insurance.

    My father is a phyician, and he advised me when I was in nursing school (a hundred years ago ) to never even think about practicing without my own coverage -- and everything I've seen since then has just reinforced to me what good advice that was. It's the best ~$100 I spend every year.
  13. by   MemphisOBRNC
    Ditto Robin.
  14. by   mitchsmom
    I also use NSO.

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