Medical malpractice insurance provides nurses with medical malpractice liability coverage against lawsuits and actions taken by the Nurses registration board. Even the most experienced and skilled nurses can make a mistake which can result in a lawsuit. It’s important to understand why nurses need medical malpractice insurance, and what to consider when choosing the right medical malpractice insurance policy.
Having medical malpractice insurance provides nurses with financial protection and a peace of mind as they go about their duties. Even where medical malpractice insurance coverage is provided by employers, it may still be necessary for a nurse to have his or her own medical malpractice insurance policy that would provide for attorney fees, reimbursement to licensing boards and lost wages. Such additional medical malpractice insurance policies can also provide coverage when performing part-time nursing assignments and volunteering, since this would not typically be covered by the employer’s insurance company.
When Does Medical Malpractice Occur?
Medical malpractice is said to have occurred when a nurse fails provide a reasonable standard of care as expected from nursing professionals.
Nurses are given numerous responsibilities and failure to properly perform any of them can lead to charges for malpractice. Common examples include failure to monitor the patient’s vital signs, errors made when performing a medical procedure, and administering medication among others. However, good the nurse may be, even a slight mistake sue as mishandling of a patients medical records resulting in unauthorized persons accessing them can lead to a serious medical malpractice claim.
Common Misconceptions About Medical Malpractice Insurance
Here are several misconceptions that nurses have over medical malpractice insurance. One such myth is that only bad nurses need this cover. Many good nurses get sued or reported to the licensing board. It can be very costly to cover legal expenses out of your account if this happens. Having a medical malpractice insurance policy gives a nurse the freedom to evaluate the settlement offer made by the BON without worrying whether he or she can afford legal counsel, if the matter proceeds to a hearing.
If the matter goes to court and the nurse loses the medical malpractice lawsuit, he or she would be liable for any damages awarded to the plaintiff. Without medical malpractice insurance, it would be very hard to pay such large amounts of money.
Another common misconception is that having medical malpractice insurance would increase their chances of being sued. This is supposedly because they would be targeted by unscrupulous individual for lawsuits. The truth s unless the nurse voluntarily reveals to a potential plaintiff that he or she has medical malpractice insurance, no one can ever know. The decision on who should respond to the lawsuit is made based on whether the defendant is covered by insurance or not.
What Nurses Need to Know to Purchase a Medical Malpractice Insurance Policy
Before purchasing a medical malpractice insurance policy, nurses should do some research on the medical malpractice insurance provider. The company’s financial strength as well as the length of time it has been operating should be considered. Go through and thoroughly understand all provisions concerning the limits of their coverage, the number of claims they receive each year and the amounts they have paid out following such claims.
According to a website known as “nurses together”, the best insurance providers would give the nurses an option on which medical malpractice insurance policy to take up depending on their circumstances. Additionally, a good policy should not provide any limits on the hourly rate charged by attorney.