Have your own malpractice insurance? - page 2

I have been reading a lot of articles that say a nurse should have her own malpractice; however, one of our instructors (who's also involved with the state board) told us recently that it is not... Read More

  1. by   eddy
    Quote from nurseynightnight
    I do not have my own insurance. Like you my instructors told us not to get insurance. There reasoning was that if a person finds out you have insurance they are more likely to sue you b/c of the insurance alone! Also when someone sues they tend to go for the "big fish" meaning doctors and the hospital itself. Unless it was you that made an obvious mistake.

    I have talked to most of my coworkers and none of them have insurance.

    I work in OB by the way.
    Nurseynightnight - I'm going to say this for your sake and any others with this belief. There is no other way I can put this except... THAT IS THE WORST ADVICE SOMEONE COULD EVER GIVE YOU. Your instructor had no business saying that. He/She's not a qualified person to make such a bold and potentially life altering suggestion. That's terrible they said that, and I feel sorry for those who took the advice.

    A malpractice attorney will tell you quite simply that they will name as broad a list of potential defendants as possible. Going solely for the "big fish" is almost never the case. The larger the list, the better their chances of a favorable result for their client. In part, this is due to the fact that the various defense lawyers will be somewhat pitted against each other. Often in their attempts to prove the "innocense" of their client they help the opposition by opening more holes in the various defenses. It can get downright nasty. The company you work for will have THEIR insurance, and the lawyers that work for their insurance company will focus on protecting the insurance company and their client (your employer, the policy holder). Sometimes that can be at your expense as they try to correctly or incorrectly shed their liability in the case. Quite literally, your employer's lawyers could be working AGAINST you. This happens more than you'd think.

    NOT having liability insurance guarantees only one thing. That if you ARE sued, you'll be paying for your defense out of your own pocket. It will be EXTREMELY costly just to consult with your attorney, and if/when you must be represented at trial, costs will go through the roof. You will likely lose most or all of what you have just in your defense, and if you have anything left over and end up with a judgment against you.... well, that'll be gone too as well as most of what you try to earn in the future. Your Liability insurance company will hire GOOD lawyers. They don't want to pay a claim any more than you do, so they find the best men and women for the job. They will also be paying them for you. If you have to hire your own, you likely won't be able to afford the same level of attorney. Your mediocre attorney will be facing some of the best in the industry, and you will have increased the probability of a judgment against you.

    Lastly, when you are likely to be found to have some fault in the case (we are human and we ALL can and do make mistakes), in the discovery stage your attorney will work to settle rather than go to court. The amount of coverage you have will be discussed between the lawyers and almost without fail the settlement amount will be negotiated DOWN from your max coverage amount or worst case at your max coverage. Ultimately, you walk away without losing anything but time and maybe a few hairs. If you DON'T have coverage, they will try to take everything you own and whatever future earnings they can grab as well. The amount will likely be less $$$ than with insurance, but the cost to you will be enormously worse (everything you own, future earnings, stress galore and lots of time). People without coverage often irrationally choose not to settle because they can't afford to and hope to fight in trial to protect themselves. They end up broke for the rest of their lives. It's a whole different kind of process when you go it alone (without coverage).

    Liability/Malpractice insurance is somewhat like a tax. That stinks, but it's a pretty cheap tax, and the risks of not paying that tax are infinitely worse than bucking up the hundred or so bucks a year.

    PLEASE. Protect yourself and get covered.