Lawsuits and Nurses Malpractice Insurance

Nurses are responsible for the care and safety of their patients. Unfortunately, in these types of situations, a patient may claim that neglect or abuse occurred at the hands of their caregiver, and this could swing the burden of proof that no wrongdoing actually happened on the part of the nurse. These types of accusations often occur at nursing homes where nurses are often isolated with patients. A patient suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s may actually believe something bad has happened to them when that is not the actual case.

Nurses need to carry nurses malpractice insurance, either through their employer or have their own personal policy to combat such allegations. This is helpful to defend against lawsuits in the event the family of a resident or a patient (in the case of a hospital) feels that they became the victim of abuse, or been taken advantage of financially or otherwise.

Accusations, even false ones, often bear weight

The stress of a hospital or nursing home establishment can have an adverse effect on a caregiver. As elderly citizens become more physically frail, they’re less able to stand up to bullying or fight back if attacked when such issues become prevalent. Such acts are viewed as criminally negligent at their worst, and if proven, can lead to costly judgments against the accused. Mental or physical ailments may make many patients of all ages more trying companions for those responsible for providing them with care. More than half a million reports of abuse are reported to authorities every year, while many more cases may go unreported.

Physical abuse

Victims and their families often report physical abuse or the use of force against a patient that results in physical pain, injury, or impairment. Such abuse includes physical assaults, such as hitting or shoving, inappropriate use of, or dispensing of drugs, harmful use of restraints on patients, or confinement for unusually long lengths of time. Such behavior is intolerable and there is a need for more stringent observation of nurses providing assistance to patients deemed difficult to care for.

Emotional abuse      

In the case of emotional or psychological abuse, nurses may be speaking to or treating a patient in ways that may cause emotional pain or distress. Verbal forms of emotional abuse include intimidation through yelling or threats, humiliation and ridicule, or even nonverbal psychological abuse, such as ignoring any requests or needs as expressed by the patient, isolating them from friends or activities, or terrorizing or menacing them. Such accusations, whether they’re warranted or not, will usually need a defense. Having nurses malpractice insurance can provide your client with the necessary defense that can threaten a career, and create a serious financial burden.

Accidents and Mistakes Factor Into Nursing Home Insurance Rates

The main focus of nursing homes is to provide the highest quality of life for the residents living there. But from time to time situations arise where injuries, often unintentional, end up causing severe pain for the injured party and may require lengthy rehabilitation. The need for liability insurance for nursing homes is crucial, and preventing injuries from occurring can help to reduce nursing home insurance rates.

Attendants and nurses must be extra careful with regards to the services they perform for their residents. But when working with frail individuals, often in poor health, it can result in issues that will need to be addressed. Having this valuable coverage covers medical costs and any settlements brought against the doctors and staff. Here are a couple of the common claims normally associated with this industry that having a professional liability policy will help cover when purchased alongside other insurance policies.

Accidental injuries to residents

Many patients will require assistance getting in and of their beds or wheelchairs. Lifting a patient multiple times a day can easily result in accidents occurring, even though a patient may be receiving the utmost care. Even cautious staff members can have an occurrence where a resident winds up suffering an injury. An event of this type can spur lawsuits against a nursing home, and owners must be ready to defend the actions of their staff.

Medication errors are cause for alarm

Nurses operating within nursing homes usually have several patients that they care for daily, so there may be concerns when it comes time to dispense medication. Since each patient will more than likely require different medications, and at different dosages, nurses must be well organized. If the wrong medicine or wrong dosage is accidentally given to a patient, the results can have serious, even fatal, consequences.

These sorts of mistakes unfortunately do happen. For example, if a staff member at a nursing home mistakenly gives an Alzheimer’s patient the wrong drug for issues with their central nervous system, this could result in his or her blood pressure dropping so significantly that it results in the patient dying.

These are common risks and exposures that all medical personnel must be cognizant of, and are best handled by owners having liability insurance for nursing homes. Brokers who handle this line of business should look into ways that their clients can save on nursing home insurance rates.

Protect Your Finances With Dental Hygienist Liability Insurance

According to recent statistics, dentists will face at least one malpractice lawsuit in their lifetime. While dental hygienists do not face nearly the same level of risk, they should still consider obtaining their own insurance policy. Lawsuits place medical professionals under immense financial strain, and malpractice coverage can offer the necessary financial protection.


Areas of Potential Liability for Hygienists


There are many reasons why clients sue dental hygienists. Some of the most common motives include:

  • Failure to update medical history
  • Injury to patient
  • Failure to record documentation in a patientUs chart
  • Failure to inform about treatment options and consequences
  • Failure to detect oral cancer or other diseases


Types of Hygienist Liability Insurance


There are two types of dental hygienist liability insurance: comprehensive coverage and claims-made coverage. The first form of insurance protects hygienists from any malpractice that occurs during their policy period. The coverage from these policies extends to their retirement period. Claims-made coverage, on the other hand, protects against claims that occur while their policy is still in effect. Hygienists are not covered for claims that arise after their policyUs termination.


Why You Should Obtain Your Own Policy


Hygienists should not solely rely on the coverage provided by their employers. By acquiring their own insurance policies, they can ensure that they are adequately protected. Dental hygienist liability insurance is a comprehensive form of coverage that will cover any legal fees that arise over the course of lawsuit.


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The Challenges Ahead in the Dental Health Care Industry

Dental health has always been important. In recent years access to dental health care and the quality of that care has generally been on the rise due to a series of societal, economic, and political factors, such as the Affordable Care Act and advances in new forms of technology that will help improve typical procedures, as well as help limit the number of dentists’ medical malpractice cases.


While it is acknowledged that dental health has been considered an important part of everyday life for a while, it has come to light recently that poor dental health can actually lead to poor overall well being and, in some cases such as those with existing health conditions, a higher mortality rate.


It has also come to light recently that one in four children have untreated tooth decay and one in four Medicare patients no longer have any of their natural teeth. This especially affects low-income families as well as racial and ethnic minorities who tend to not have the access to care that many others do.


With these new developments and drastic statistics, it seems important to focus on expanding higher quality dental health care to those who it is affecting the most while still avoiding medical malpractice for the dentists involved. Currently, the Affordable Care Act has no provisions for adult dental health care and minimal provisions for children’s dental health care. Regardless of debate or political affiliation, if universal health care is going to be a priority in this country, shouldn’t it cover all aspects of health?

If the Affordable Care Act is eventually expanded to include a more comprehensive dental plan for those who need it, it is still important to remember the most common reasons for medical malpractice suits against dentists: errors in treatment, using improper techniques, and failing to follow up after a treatment. If the trend of providing a more universal health care continues, it is entirely possible that the number of medical malpractice cases could increase, but by remembering these and facing the numerous challenges that lie ahead, they are easily avoided and the country will have much better, and healthier, smiles to show for it.


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