Personal Liability Insurance
February 18, 2012
All professionals working in the health care field face the possibility of being sued by their patients and must be very diligent when it comes to making sure they are adequately covered in the event of such an occurrence. Although as a phlebotomist, you will most likely be included in your employer’s liability insurance you still run the risk of being personally sued. It is therefore extremely important that you thoroughly understand what your employee insurance will and will not cover.
Negligence is the most common cause for a patient suing a phlebotomy technician. In the case of personal negligence not only could you be liable for the settlement/award to the plaintiff, you may also be liable for the damages that your employer paid to a claimant. With professional liability insurance, these expenses can be transferred to your personal insurance. There are usually a wide range of premiums available depending on such things as the coverage limits you decide upon. Of course the higher limits one selects, the higher you premium will be.
The most common legal actions taken against phlebotomy technicians center around negligence, the cases most often seen include:
- Severe damage to the nerves
- A phlebotomist leaving a patient with a tourniquet still on causing swelling.
- Permanent nerve damage due to the technician rushing a procedure causing hematoma.
- Numbness from incorrect vein selection
- Unsuccessful repeated attempts to draw blood resulting in hematoma.
Even in cases where charges of negligence are proven to be wrong, it often takes years for such allegations to be cleared. Legal fees over such an extended period can be astronomical. Professional liability insurance can greatly reduce the cost of defending yourself in such malpractice lawsuits.
It may very well be that as a professional with your phlebotomy certification and years of exemplary service you have always followed proper procedures never causing any concern for negligence on your part. Even so, this does not prevent a patient alleging you with negligence and bringing a malpractice suit against you personally. Students enrolled in phlebotomy courses must also be aware that such legal issues can also arise while performing their internship classes and working with real patients. Personal liability insurance will give professionals as well as students the extra piece of mind that they are protected financially and legally should the need ever arise.