While rare, most malpractice claims allege negligence on the part of the optometrist and a failure to adhere to the standard of care that results in an injury to the patient. A poor outcome, even when an optometrist has done everything correctly, can be interpreted by a patient as negligence. Common malpractice claims include:
- Failure to diagnose
- Failure to dilate the pupil
- Improper client termination or referral
- Neglecting informed consent
- Poor recordkeeping
If an incident occurs, avoid the stress. With guidance and support from Lockton Affinity, you can handle the incident and get back to your practice.
Determining When to File a Malpractice Claim
If an incident occurs, it is important to keep best claim-reporting practices in mind.
- Decide to file a claim
It can be difficult to gauge which incidents will amount to nothing and which will lead to a costly settlement. This is why it is often best to err on the side of caution and report every incident to your claim specialist.
Ask yourself: Does the situation have the potential to escalate into a claim? Was there a mistake made or did an injury occur?
- File promptly
Prompt claim reporting leads to better outcomes for you and your practice. You may be able to settle the claim sooner, without the other party hiring a lawyer. Memories will be fresh, and evidence will be available to help your case. In short, prompt reporting:
- Saves time and money
- Better protects your practice
- Reduces worry and stress
Ask yourself: Will I remember the details of this incident weeks or months from now if I do not report it now?
- Compile necessary information
The more thorough the information you compile from the start, the easier it will be to settle your claim efficiently. Collect this information before you file:
- Copies of patient-related records, incident reports, witness reports, photographs, videos and other documentation.
- Your insurance policy number
- Contact information for yourself
- Contact information for any involved parties and claimants
Ask yourself: Could this information be helpful in settling the claim?
Filing a Malpractice Claim
When it comes time to file your malpractice claim, Lockton Affinity policyholders will reach out to the insurance carrier, Berkley.
While Lockton Affinity administers your malpractice insurance, Berkley is responsible for approving or denying claims and issuing payments.
Filing a Malpractice Claim with Berkley
- Contact Berkley
Find Berkley’s contact information at the top of the second page of your Malpractice policy documents. Reach out via email or fax to begin the claim process.
- Receive Communication from Your Claims Adjustor
Berkley will assign a claims adjuster who will review your claim and interview any involved parties. It may take 24–48 hours to hear back from the adjuster. If you have not heard back after 48 hours, contact Lockton Affinity, and we will help expedite the process.
- Receive Support from a Law Firm
If you are sued, Berkley will connect you with a law firm that has experience in malpractice lawsuits.
- Payment Issued
Berkley will issue any payment to the patient and will notify you and close the claim.
Claims Support from Lockton Affinity
Lockton Affinity is available to answer your questions and help you with any part of the process—we are your advocate!