If you're starting your career in the medical field, you may assume your medical degree and desire to heal are all you need, but you are wrong. Unfortunately, even good intentions may end with less than desirable outcomes, and a disgruntled patient may decide to sue you. In order to protect yourself, you must ensure you are adequately covered with a professional liability insurance policy. If you aren't sure why you need one, check out these three benefits of professional liability insurance.
It Covers Your Services
If you purchase a product from a vender, and the product failed, causing you injury, you'd likely sue to get medical reimbursement for your injuries. Manufacturers and sellers know this, and protect themselves with product liability insurance. If they are sued because their product was defective, the product liability insurance protects them. However, doctors, nurses and other medical professionals don't supply products, so they don't need product liability insurance.
Instead, you purchase professional liability insurance. You may also know it as malpractice insurance or errors and omissions insurance, and it protects the services you provide. For example, as a doctor, your product is to provide the best care for your patient you can. Whether from stress, being new or perhaps you simply forgot to tell a patient something important. They may be able to sue you for this "omission." Having professional liability insurance covers these services in the same method as covering a product you may buy for your medical practice.
It Pays for Legal Fees
Having professional liability insurance doesn't make you immune to getting sued. Even if you have homeowners insurance, someone can sue you if injured on your property. However, like homeowners insurance, your professional liability insurance will pay for your legal fees if you are sued by a former patient. These may include court fees, lawyer costs and anything else related to the lawsuit.
One of the biggest benefits of this insurance is that it protects you even if you were in the wrong. For example, in the previously mentioned example, if you honestly neglected to provide them with important information, you may lose the lawsuit. Luckily, this doesn't mean your insurance will refuse to pay. Your insurance doesn't only pay if you win. It pays your legal fees if you lose. Keep in mind, however, that your premiums for professional liability insurance will likely increase with each lawsuit.
It Pays Settlements
In The unfortunate event that you lose the lawsuit, the liability insurance is also designed to pay for the settlement, which can be extremely high. Medical mistakes can lead to costly problems for patients and expensive lawsuits, which is why it is so important that professional liability insurance covers the settlement. Without it, you'd have to pay the amount out of your own pocket, which could mean the end of your private practice if you can't afford it.
Like all insurance, however, there is a maximum payout. Of course, with malpractice insurance, the maximum is high because the lawsuits can be so expensive. However, when choosing your policy, make sure to heavily consider the maximum payout. A lower payout will have lower premiums, but if someone sues and wins for more than the maximum payout, you may have to pay the rest out of your own pocket. It's also a good idea to work with your attorney when choosing a plan. Your lawyer will be best equipped to suggest which policies will best protect you without wasting your money.
Don't ruin your medical career by forgetting about malpractice insurance. It will help protect you in the event of an expensive lawsuit. For more information regarding which type of insurance you may need, contact a medical malpractice attorney in your area to get a consultation. For more information, contact companies like Otorowski Morrow and Golden, PLLC.