New study from Johns Hopkins Medicine finds medical errors could rank as third leading cause of death in the U.S.
We saw a fascinating NPR article about medical errors being a leading cause of death in the United States. Researchers from Johns Hopkins Medicine conducted the study and determined that medical errors result in 250,000 deaths each year.
According to NPR, this would rank as the third leading cause of death behind heart disease and cancer. Better reporting is needed to research and address the problem.
This study is important because we see medical errors impact our workers’ compensation clients each day. Claimants are limited to employer selected doctors for the first 28 days. This time is critical for proper diagnosis and treatment.
First 28 days
Medical care is arguable the most important benefit under Michigan workers’ compensation. All reasonable and necessary treatment must be provided. However, selection of doctor is limited during the first 28 days.
Our experience shows that claimants get sent to employer clinics and shuffled around between different medical professionals. We see people get misdiagnosed with a sprain or strain when in fact they have a tear.
Sometimes a medical error causes a person’s condition to get worse or prolong disability.
Claimants who are victims of medical malpractice can file a civil lawsuit against the medical provider for its negligence. Damages include pain and suffering.
Workers’ compensation benefits will continue even after medical malpractice occurs. Wage loss and medical should not be interrupted.
The insurance company who pays benefits is entitled to recoup if a malpractice lawsuit is successful. This is based upon a complicated formula outlined by the Michigan Supreme Court. It involves an immediate cash payment and a reduction of future wage loss benefits.
Medical malpractice cases are difficult, complicated, and expensive. Ask your workers’ compensation lawyer for a referral to an expert in this area of the law.
Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers never charges a fee to evaluate a potential case. Our law firm has represented injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Call (855) 221-2667 for a free consultation today.
Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, by heipei.