Most dentists know that they are responsible for treatment procedures provided by auxiliary employees working under their supervision. You are also accountable for the actions of employees working in the practice, if it is structured as a corporation. The legal term for this responsibility is “vicarious liability.”
The theory behind vicarious liability is based on the doctrine of respondent superior (Latin for “let the master answer”). This doctrine holds an employer responsible for negligent acts of an employee. Essentially, if your employee is named in a lawsuit arising out of an alleged negligent act then it is almost certain your corporation will be named in the lawsuit as well. And note, staff you consider independent contractors may indeed be considered employees under state laws.
Protect yourself with corporate professional liability insurance
You can add coverage for your practice’s corporation to your individual dental professional liability policy at no cost if you own the corporation 100%. Once added, you then share the limits of liability with your corporation.
Exposure increases when there is more than one owner and/or dentist treating patients in a practice. In which case, a separate policy is recommended to adequately protect your practice’s corporation.
DBIC offers a low cost solution to protecting your practice’s vicarious liability exposure with a separate Corporation Professional Liability policy. It provides indemnity and defense coverage for the practice corporation in the event it is named in a professional liability claim.
To obtain a quote for this valuable coverage, simply complete an application and fax to 503-765-3511 or email to: firstname.lastname@example.org