Common Misconceptions About Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice is a serious issue in healthcare and often leads to costly claims, damaged reputations, and even loss of license for medical professionals. Despite this, many myths persist and make it difficult for doctors, dentists, and other medical professionals to navigate the complexities of malpractice insurance. We’ll explore some common misconceptions about medical malpractice and offer tips on avoiding claims.

All Medical Errors Are Considered Malpractice

Medical errors are unfortunate, but not all errors qualify as malpractice. For a situation to be considered malpractice, the patient must have proof of negligence and that the error caused them harm. A malpractice claim without one or the other would be dismissed, as it fails to meet the legal requirements of malpractice. Other legal requirements for malpractice include a professional duty owed to the patient and negligence resulting in damages.

Only Surgeons and Specialists Face Malpractice Risks

While surgeons are the most common targets of malpractice claims because of their work’s high degree of difficulty, they’re not the only people affected. Every healthcare professional faces some level of malpractice risk. Dentists, nurse practitioners, anesthesiologists, certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs), and many more can be liable for their actions. Therefore, all medical professionals must have adequate malpractice insurance coverage.

Malpractice Claims Always Result From a Poor Outcome

While adverse outcomes can lead to malpractice claims, not every negative outcome is related to negligence. Some treatments may come with inherent risks, and many factors can influence patient outcomes beyond the provider’s control. Even a positive surgical outcome can lead to a malpractice suit if the patient experiences unexpected negative side effects.

Malpractice Insurance Only Covers Legal Costs

Malpractice insurance often covers legal defense fees and serves as a financial safety net, covering settlements and damages awarded to patients. As a medical professional, you must understand the scope of your coverage and adjust it as needed.

Patients Frequently File Frivolous Lawsuits

Negative perceptions surround medical malpractice lawsuits, and many people assume that some patients are just trying to make a buck by taking advantage of the legal system. While frivolous lawsuits can occur, most patients file suits due to legitimate issues with their care. Medical professionals should focus on providing quality care and maintaining strong communication with their patients to lower their risk of facing a claim.

Malpractice Claims Always Go to Court

Another common misconception about medical malpractice is that all lawsuits make it to court. However, many malpractice claims are settled out of court or resolved through alternative dispute resolution methods. These methods save time and money for both sides.

The insured should work with their insurance company to find the best approach that fits their unique circumstances.

State-Mandated Minimum Coverage Is Enough

While most states in the US require medical professionals to carry malpractice insurance, state-mandated minimums may not offer sufficient coverage. For those practicing in high-risk specialties, like cardiovascular surgery or obstetrics, greater coverage is ideal because these professions often see higher settlements. Care providers should consider the risks unique to their practice and choose an appropriate level of coverage.

Good Doctors Don’t Get Sued

Medical malpractice claims often have nothing to do with the ability of the targeted medical professional. Even the most competent healthcare providers can face malpractice claims. Accidents and communication mishaps happen, so insurance coverage is crucial for all medical professionals.

The Younger the Patient, the Higher the Settlement

While age may play a role in calculating settlement amounts, the severity of the injury and the level of negligence involved determine settlements. Malpractice cases have no guarantees, so medical care providers should avoid relying on generalizations.

All Malpractice Insurers Offer the Same Coverage

Medical professionals often believe that most malpractice coverage is a one-size-fits-all plan. However, this is not the case.

Carefully review your policy and work with a trusted insurance representative to understand the nuances of your coverage. Insurance carriers offer different policies, so select one that best meets your needs.

How To Protect Yourself From Medical Malpractice Claims

Ideally, you would never face a malpractice lawsuit. These tips can help you avoid problems and reduce the chance of being targeted for medical malpractice.

Prioritize Patient Communication

The source of a malpractice claim often comes from a patient’s frustration at not being heard or listened to. Clear and detailed communication can help you build strong relationships with your patients and prevent misunderstandings that could lead to malpractice claims against you. Maintain open lines of communication and actively listen to your patient’s concerns.

Stay Up-to-Date on Best Practices

Another source of malpractice is a medical provider operating outside their expertise. Continuing education is crucial in the medical field, and providers must stay current on best practices. This includes understanding any changes or updates in laws or regulations related to their specialty.

Keep Thorough Records

Accurate and detailed record-keeping is critical in defending you against malpractice claims. Keep in mind that a patient’s chart is often cited as evidence if a malpractice claim goes to court. Ensure all patient notes are complete, legible, and updated to avoid discrepancies in patient care and your defence.

Implement Risk Management Strategies

Medical care providers can work with their insurance company or join a risk management program to identify and mitigate potential risks in their practice. This can include implementing on-site safety protocols, regularly reviewing patient records, and improving communication with patients.

Review Your Malpractice Insurance Policy Regularly

As your practice evolves or if you face a change in specialty or location, you should review and adjust your malpractice insurance coverage. This is especially important if you recently adopted greater responsibilities in a new position. Ensure your policy reflects your responsibilities. Don’t assume your current policy will cover new risks.

Let Baxter & Associates Help You Stay Protected From Malpractice Claims

Many myths surround negligence and malpractice claims in healthcare. The best thing you can do is protect yourself with a quality malpractice insurance plan. Baxter & Associates helps many medical providers find the policies they need to stay protected, including CRNA malpractice insurance. Get a free quote for our services today, or contact our staff to learn more about medical malpractice insurance.

Common Misconceptions About Medical Malpractice

Tips To De-Escalate Tensions With Angry Patients

Dealing with angry patients can be one of the most challenging aspects of working in the healthcare field. Nurse practitioners (NPs) must have the skills to navigate these situations effectively. Knowing how to reduce conflicts can improve patient relationships and diminish the risk of potential issues and medical malpractice lawsuits. We’ll share several tips to help you de-escalate tensions with angry patients.

Stay Calm and Remain Professional

When confronted by an angry patient, it can be easy to let emotions take over. However, it’s essential to maintain a calm, composed demeanor. Take a deep breath, and remember that the patient’s frustration is not directed at you but likely stems from their pain, fear, or dissatisfaction with their medical situation.

Actively Listen

One of the most effective tips for de-escalating tensions with angry patients is to allow them to vent their frustration. Listen attentively to their concerns, acknowledge their feelings, and paraphrase their words to demonstrate understanding. Taking this approach shows that you genuinely care and can be instrumental in regaining a patient’s trust.

Validate the Patient’s Emotions

Validating a patient’s emotions requires empathy and understanding. You should acknowledge their frustration or anger without judgment or attempting to downplay it. Let them know you understand why they are upset and that it’s normal to feel that way. This can go a long way toward calming a patient and strengthening your rapport.

Offer Solutions and Reassurance

After listening to your patient’s concerns and validating their emotions, you should provide reassurance and discuss potential solutions. Address their concerns directly, and outline the steps you’ll take to rectify any issues. If necessary, involve other medical professionals in the conversation to resolve the issue. Clear, actionable information will help the patient feel more in control of their medical situation.

Know When To Seek Assistance

In some instances, de-escalating tensions with an angry patient may not be possible to do alone. Knowing when to call for support is an essential skill for nurses and nurse practitioners. If a situation feels unsafe or the patient’s anger does not subside despite your best efforts, involve a supervisor or other medical professionals.


Cultivating effective communication and honing your de-escalation skills are vital for nurse practitioners who want to build trust with patients. Facing challenging situations and knowing how to navigate them professionally is crucial for your career as an NP. In doing so, you promote a positive patient experience and minimize the risk of malpractice claims.

Baxter & Associates can ensure you’re protected with the best coverage by finding you high-quality NP liability insurance. Our unparalleled services and access to numerous insurance carriers provide the best solutions for medical malpractice insurance. Contact us today to discuss your liability insurance needs.

5 Benefits of Having Dental Malpractice Insurance

As a dental professional, you work hard to provide the best care for your patients. However, unforeseen complications and errors can occur even with years of experience and expertise. Dental malpractice insurance is critical to protecting your practice and ensuring you are well-prepared for such situations. Below, we explain some of the many benefits of having dental malpractice insurance.

Legal and Financial Protection

One of the main benefits of dental malpractice insurance is the legal and financial protection it provides. If a patient sues you for alleged malpractice, your insurance policy can cover the cost of defending the claim, any settlements or judgments, and other related expenses. Without such protection, one mistake or error can end a dentist’s career and cause significant financial loss.

Personal and Professional Reassurance

Having dental malpractice insurance not only offers financial protection but also provides personal and professional reassurance. Knowing that you are covered in case of a claim allows you to focus on providing the best possible care to your patients without the constant worry of potential lawsuits and financial losses. This protection allows dental professionals to work without the fear of legal and financial exposure clouding their judgment and work, which leads to better outcomes for both the dentist and patient.

Access to Expert Legal Counsel

In addition to financial coverage, dental malpractice insurance often includes access to expert legal counsel specializing in defending medical professionals. These experts can help guide you through complex legal processes, provide expert advice, and represent you in court if necessary. This can be an invaluable resource that ensures your case is handled professionally and effectively.

Maintaining Your Reputation

A single malpractice claim can severely impact your professional reputation, even if you are ultimately found not liable. Having dental malpractice insurance can help manage and minimize the potential damage to your reputation. Insurers often have resources available to help you navigate the situation and work to protect or repair your professional image.

Compliance With State Requirements

Many states require dental professionals to carry malpractice insurance to be licensed and practice in the state. By having dental malpractice insurance, you demonstrate your commitment to complying with state regulations, ensuring you can continue providing care to your patients without interruption.

Let Baxter & Associates Help You Find Dental Malpractice Insurance

There are clearly many benefits of having dental malpractice insurance for healthcare professionals, particularly dental professionals. This form of insurance is essential for protecting your practice, assets, and reputation. As a dental professional, having dental malpractice insurance is an investment in your future and the success of your practice.

At Baxter & Associates, we help dentists, physicians, nurses, and other professionals get quality and affordable malpractice insurance for healthcare professionals. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help protect you and your practice and give you the peace of mind you deserve.