Should nurses carry malpractice if the hospital already covers them?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Should nurses carry malpractice if the hospital already covers them?

Asked on February 3, 2011 under Malpractice Law, Virginia

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If you work for the hospital, and all your work is done in the hospital, then there really may not be any need for you to carry personal malpractice insurance.  I would, though, ask to see a copy of the coverage and exactly what it is just to be sure.  If you feel, after you read it, that the insurance is not adequate you may want to research the matter and speak with a malpractice carrier or broker to see what additional coverage would be and the cost.  You should look for the words "defense" and "indemnification" and "coverage limits" when reading the policy.  I really think that you are fine but it is good to know the information from the policy that covers you in any event. Good luck to you.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

This is a good question for an insurance broker, to discuss cost/benefit, but my suspicion is that if the nurse can maintain her own policy and can afford it, she should. The reasons are as follows:

1) Should the nurse do any work that is outside the scope of her employment--e.g. she picks up work for another clinic, doctor, hospital, pharmacy, or directly as a private nurse for a patient--her hospital malpractice would not cover her. It would only cover her in the course of her nursing duties for the hospital.

2) Remember, the hospital's malpractice carrier is working for the hospital, not the individual nurses. It is possible a situation may arise where the best interest of the hospital and the insurer (who, after all, does not want to pay out money) would be best served by claiming that a nurse was acting outside the scope of hospital rules or even against instructions, trying to escape hospital liabililty while claiming the nurse went "rogue." (Apologies to Sarah Palin.) The hospital's interests and the nurses are not necessarily identical.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption