Dental malpractice insurance is an insurance product for dentists concerned about incurring liability in the course of their work. In the event of an accusation of medical malpractice, the insurance company will assist the dentist with defending against the claim. If the court rules in favor of the plaintiff, the insurance will pay out any damages awarded. Carrying dental malpractice insurance can be a wise move for a dentist, and other insurance products, such as premises liability, are also a good idea for a dentist to purchase.
Dental malpractice, a form of medical malpractice, can be a serious charge. If a dentist does not exercise due caution while working on patients and a patient experiences injuries, the dentist can be held liable. Professionals like dentists are held to a high standard because their professional training provides them with more qualifications than laypeople. In a dental malpractice case, a jury can decide to award damages to someone to pay for repairing bad dental work, and other damages may be awarded as well.
Dental malpractice insurance provides dentists with coverage and protection in the event of a lawsuit. The amount payable from the insurance company varies, depending on what kind of policy a dentist purchases. A premium is paid annually to cover the costs of the insurance and keep the account in good standing. If an accusation of malpractice is filed, the insurance company usually assists from the start. It may help with investigation and other activities to see if the matter can be resolved before it goes to court, and if it does go to court, the insurance company will assist with the dentist's defense.
Without dental malpractice insurance, if a dentist is ruled against in court, she will have to pay the damage award herself. These awards can be large, and there is a risk that the practice might have to be downsized or sold to pay the expenses. Personal property can also be seized to cover the amount of the damages if the dentist fails to pay them in full. This exposes people to losses and can make it difficult to continue practicing. Dental malpractice insurance provides protection so this cannot happen.
Dentists researching malpractice insurance can work with an insurance agent or broker to find out about available products. It is a good idea to look up court records on malpractice suits filed against dentists with similar scopes of practice to see what kinds of awards are being made by judges and juries, so a dentist can select an appropriate level of coverage. Some dentists may be more at risk than others because of the kinds of procedures they perform, and it is important to be fully covered.