Why Do All Healthcare Professionals Need Their Own Liability Insurance?

Health care professionals need liability insurance to protect themselves if they get sued for malpractice.

A high percentage of doctors are sued at least once in their career, though most are never found liable for malpractice. That’s a fact of live in our society where lawsuits are the way many people seek to correct a wrong or perceived wrong. Having liability insurance protects a medical professional from having to pay for damages out of their own pocket if any are awarded. Most liability insurance policies also cover the cost of attorney fees, fees for expert witnesses and associated costs.

In this Malpractice Guide article we will discuss the reasons that all healthcare professionals should carry their own liability insurance and the ways it protects themselves and the consumer.

More Than 60% of Doctors Get Sued

The American Medical Association did a survey in 2010 that showed that 61% of doctors had been sued at least once in their career. Male doctors are twice as likely to be sued than females, so the percentage of male doctors who have been sued is above 75%. Because some doctors are sued more than once, the AMA found that for every 100 doctors currently practicing, 95 lawsuits had been filed. The good news is that most lawsuits end in the doctor’s favor. But fighting the lawsuit can be very expensive too. According to the AMA, the average lawsuit costs more than $22,000 to defend.

Which Health Care Professional Need Liability Insurance?

Everyone who works in the health care field should have medical liability insurance. This includes doctors, nurses, radiologists and other technicians, pharmacists, physical and occupational therapists, nutritionists, psychiatrists, hospital administrators and department managers, and the owners of clinics or medical practices.

There are many times that a medical professional could find themselves in a malpractice lawsuit, from making a surgical errorprescription errors,  and even wrongful death in the case that someone dies while in your care.

Many health care professionals are required to carry medical liability insurance in order to get a job. Hospitals and clinics will not hire those who are not insured because the monetary liability might fall entirely on them if the medical professional lost a lawsuit and was not able to cover the damages. The hospital or clinic will often be named in a medical malpractice lawsuit, but if it can show that due diligence was done before hiring the person who allegedly committed malpractice, the hospital or clinic might not face liability for damages.

Finding Quality Liability Insurance

There are many larger insurers who offer policies to health care workers, from doctors and nurses to administrators responsible for setting policies and procedures for hospitals and clinics. Look for one with a proven track record of fighting for their clients.

Before you choose a medical malpractice liability policy, learn as much as possible about the coverage they offer and what they will do to defend you if you are sued. Will they drop your policy or raise your insurance premiums if you are sued and you lose or settle?  What if you sue, fight it and win?  These are important details to find out beforehand.