Reasons Athletic Trainers May Need Liability Insurance
posted on 12/7/2016 1:05:00 PM
Athletic trainers face a multitude of risk. When working at a sports game, athletic trainers are dealt the task of being responsible for everyone competing in the event.
To ensure they don't face any career jeopardizing malpractice lawsuits, athletic trainers should consider investing in professional liability insurance. This type of policy can provide them peace of mind by giving them financial and legal assistance if they are ever sued.
Both legal and court fees can be covered as well as settlement and judgment costs. A lawyer can also be provided for athletic trainers if they need to defend themselves in court.
Common causes of athletic trainer malpractice
Malpractice lawsuits can be costly, and there are many situations in which trainers could find themselves facing one.
- Failing to identify a condition - One of the most common causes of athletic trainer malpractice is failing to identify an athlete's condition. For example, if a player comes off the field with a concussion, and a trainer doesn't diagnose them, they could face a significant lawsuit.
- Not being properly certified or licensed - Generally, athletic trainers need to get certified or licensed if they are going to treat athletes. If they fail to do so, they could find themselves on the wrong side of a malpractice lawsuit even if they give the proper treatment.
- Breach of duty - When on the job, trainers are expected to perform their duty as a reasonable athletic trainer would in a similar circumstance. If it is found that this does not occur, trainers could find themselves with some liability issues. Concussions have become a problem for this type of malpractice but there is some gray area, as there aren't really any universal standards for assessing and treatment of the injury.
Learn More About Professional Liability Insurance for Athletic Trainers >
Ways trainers can limit their risk exposure
In addition to obtaining professional liability insurance, there are numerous ways trainers can limit their risk of getting entangled in legal issues.
- Establish good relationships - One of the easiest ways a trainer can reduce their risk is to develop good relationships with athletes and their families. In some cases, simply having a relationship with a patient can prevent them from suing.
- Keep accurate records - If a patient ever sues them for malpractice, trainers need to be sure they have accurate records. These can help them defend themselves in court, as records can be used as evidence.
- Don't let people participate until cleared - When working with athletes, trainers should never let them compete unless they have been medically cleared.
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