Nurses Without Malpractice Insurance May Be At Greater Risk for Lawsuits, Experts Report

Nurse license

Although the overall number of malpractice suits against doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals has dropped considerably over the last decade, there are still many nurses who do not carry malpractice insurance along with their professional licensing. Citing concerns about the cost of obtaining malpractice insurance, nurses who lack professional insurance protection may be at a loss if they receive a formal licensing board complaint.

While the statistics for reinstatement of nurses brought before licensing boards are encouraging, finding a professional license defense attorney can be essential for nurses who are facing formal action against them. About one in six nurses accused of medical malpractice are reinstated, but the number of successful outcomes may be much higher with the retention of an attorney.

According to experts, one of the most important aspects of a formal board complaint that a professional license defense attorney can help with is the timing of the response. Contacting a nursing license lawyer immediately after learning of the complaint can allow the attorney time to formulate a response to the complaint and file it properly with the court. Delaying a response — or worse, failing to respond — to a malpractice complaint can practically guarantee a loss in some states.

There are over 3 million nurses active across America, and although the rate of malpractice suits has been cut in half in the last decade, there is still a need to consult a professional license defense attorney in the event of a complaint. Many nursing homes and hospitals lack the proper infrastructure to track patient care, and if treatment was administered but not recorded properly, it may impact the outcome of the case at hand.

Nurses who are able to explain the conditions surrounding the complaint to their lawyer may find themselves facing a more positive outcome, but experts continue to emphasize the need to retain legal counsel as soon as possible following the receipt of a formal complaint. Experts in the field also advise that nurses facing disciplinary action refrain from contacting the board, the patient filing the complaint, or other health care professionals to discuss the issue; attorneys will handle the necessary communication for them.

With fewer malpractice suits being brought to the attention of the court, and with payments on these lawsuits also declining, there is less of a probability that a working health care professional would have the need to contact a nursing license defense attorney. Carrying malpractice insurance can help, but contacting an attorney in a timely fashion and refraining from communication about the issue is also advisable in the unlikely event of a formal nursing complaint.

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