What does a person on workers’ comp need to know about medical malpractice?
We saw an interesting article in the Detroit Free Press about local hospitals getting low grades for patient safety. The scores are part of the Leapfrog Group’s national ranking of more than 2,500 hospitals nationwide. The goal is to improve the prevention of errors, injuries, accidents and infections in hospitals.
Access to medical care is the most important benefit under Michigan workers’ comp. Only after 28 days can a person select his or her own doctor. Claimants are exposed to many different medical facilities during these first days. Sometimes a medical error causes a person’s condition to get worse or prolongs disability. It is common for our clients to get misdiagnosed when their conditions are actually more serious.
Workers’ comp will be paid even if a medical error has worsened a person’s condition. Medical treatment is covered regardless of whether it was caused by a medical error. Wage loss benefits continue when a person is disabled.
Individuals on workers’ comp have the same legal rights as any other patient. They can file a civil lawsuit against the negligent doctor or hospital seeking additional damages including pain and suffering.
Workers’ comp gets paid back if a medical malpractice lawsuit is successful. This is based upon a complicated formula known as “Franges” and includes a cash payment plus a reduction of future wage loss benefits.
Medical malpractice cases are very difficult and expensive. We recommend hiring both a workers’ comp and medical malpractice lawyer. Sometimes the amount paid back to workers’ comp can be negotiated to a more favorable number. This will guarantee the largest possible recovery.
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 ZaldyImg.