Just as malpractice insurance protects doctors and surgeons from the effects of lawsuits, so professional liability insurance protects dental professionals. If you have just opened your own dental practice, you may want to consider investing in dental professional liability insurance. It can protect your practice and your career in all of the following ways.
Covering Accidents and Injuries When Your Patients Are in the Clinic (or Out)
Accidents and injuries that your patients experience while they are in your clinic are covered. This includes freak occurrences such as tree limbs smashing through the roof of your practice or a car driving through a wall of your building when a patient who is still under the side affects of anesthesia attempts to drive. Additional accidents that are covered include patients who accidentally receive too much anesthesia or laughing gas and/or tripping and falling while exiting the building after dental surgery.
Protection Against Opportunistic Litigants
Most of your patients will be reasonable and understanding people when out-of-the-ordinary things occur. However, you may encounter one or two patients in the course of your career that are "opportunistic litigants." These are people who look for something over which to sue, and their motivation is often money. Even if their cases are unfounded, you may not want to be without the liability insurance because it can cover some of the expenses of the lawsuit, saving you and your practice from financial hardship.
Vicarious Liability Coverage
In some states, you and your practice can be sued by patients who have unpleasant experiences at the hands of your staff, other dentists or specialists you have referred patients to, and/or bad encounters with family members who own other types of businesses. This is referred to as a "vicarious liability" suit, because you are vicariously and indirectly related to or responsible for these situations. If you live in a state that recognizes this type of lawsuit as a legally viable thing, then you probably want to add vicarious liability insurance to your policies and coverage.
Protection for Your License and Career Too
Just like doctors and surgeons, your license can be in jeopardy if you are accused of impropriety, illegal activity, sexual harassment, etc. To protect your license and defend yourself, you have to hire a lawyer. Insurance to protect your license can and will help you pay for the lawyer and legal defense expenses associated with defending your position and your career against state regulatory agencies. Click here for more info on dental professional liability.Share