Professional Liability insurance is coverage meant to protect your business from a client’s claims of negligence and failure to perform professional duties as required. This is must-have coverage in an industry where mistakes can be costly for clients and home care businesses.
There are many situations your business and employees may find yourselves in where a professional liability claim could be filed. Here are five times having Professional Liability insurance can save you.
1. A Client Gets Scalded in a Hot Bath
Risks are high with employees regularly helping clients with their hygiene and bathing. Bathrooms are full of dangers, including tight spaces, hard surfaces, wet floors and more. One risk employees may forget about is the temperature of water coming out of the taps, which can exceed 140ºF and cause serious burns.
A busy employee can easily run a bath for a client that is too hot without realizing the danger. Water heaters can be set too high by service technicians, family members or clients themselves. Clients placed in hot baths will often end up with burns on their legs.
A client scalded in a bath drawn by an employee is a recipe for a negligence claim and lawsuit. Luckily, Professional Liability insurance can help protect you from this risk.
2. A Client Receives Too Much Medicine
Management of a client’s medication needs is an important role for caregiver employees, but one where numerous errors are possible. Medicines must be stored correctly, given at the right times and in the right doses. There is also the possibility of dangerous drug interactions and side effects.
An employee could make a make a mistake and give a client too much of their medication leading to side effects and injury. Even though the mistake was an accident, it may be treated as negligence by the client’s family.
A medical mistake can lead to a long and costly lawsuit, which is one reason Professional Liability insurance is important to have.
3. A Client Gets Hurt During a Transfer Movement
Moving clients with limited mobility can be a challenge. There’s always a chance a client can slip, slide or fall and get hurt during the process. Home care clients are often in fragile health and even a minor incident can result in a major injury.
Improperly moving clients from a bed to a chair and back has been known to result in serious injuries such as broken legs, cracked ribs, spine injuries and even head injuries and death. An older client who suffers broken bones or a head injury is likely to end up in the hospital, resulting in six-figure medical bills and a lawsuit filed by the family against your organization.
Thankfully, your Professional Liability insurance helps cover you if a client is injured due to an employee’s improper handling.
4. A Client Trips and Falls Outside the Home
Employees spend much of their time helping clients attend doctor’s appointments, run errands and move around. The outdoor environment can pose a lot of risks to someone unsteady on their feet and unfortunately, a caregiver isn’t always close enough to prevent disaster.
A fall outside on concrete or blacktop can be devastating for an elderly client. While a caregiver will often help guide a client from inside to the car and back, sometimes a moment of distraction is all it takes for a serious fall to occur. A client can trip and hit their head and be seriously injured.
In these cases, a major lawsuit is likely to result, but Professional Liability insurance can help protect your business from the cost of damages, legal fees and court judgements.
5. A Client Gets Hurt When Left Alone
Clients may expect to spend some of their time being unsupervised, but when an employee is supposed to be present and is not, it can create problems for your company. An employee’s unexcused absence from the job could leave a client trying to complete their routine alone, getting confused, getting lost or suffering a serious injury.
Clients could fall trying to move around the home or take care of a chore usually done by their absent caregiver. A claim of negligence will often be filed in such a case, where the injury may have been preventable if the employee had been present.
Professional Liability insurance has coverage to minimize the risk your business faces from claims of negligence due to an unattended client.
Protect Your Home Care Business
Accusations of negligence and failure to perform professional duties are common causes of home care industry lawsuits. Ensuring you have the right insurance protection can help shield your business from the high costs of damages, legal fees and judgements that can result from a claim. Reduce the risk by purchasing Professional Liability insurance from Lockton Home Care for your home care business.