Worker's compensation cases can be fairly straightforward when proper treatment is received. But if a medical malpractice occurs, the legal issues are difficult to sort out. Here are some things to think about.
Is Negligence Clear?
Malpractice is somewhat of a gray area. There are a few red flags that often lead to a malpractice suit. One is carelessness; did the doctor prescribe you a medication in a dose that was too high, or a medication that was inappropriate, or even something you were allergic to? They should know better. Inappropriate care is another offense. If they recommend a procedure that makes your injury much worse, and it was a bad recommendation to begin with, they are liable. Failing to rule out complications or more serious injuries is another major offense.
How Badly Did the Malpractice Affect Your Healing?
Another thing to ask yourself is how much the malpractice caused you to veer off the course your doctor had initially set for your healing process. For example, if your injury was expected to take 1 month, and a doctor did something that caused the injury to take 6 months to heal, your worker's compensation policy will have reduced liability after the original course of treatment was supposed to come to a close. Any actions that extended the injury act as a breaking point of liability for your employer.
Additional Damages Are Probably Owed
Especially in the case of potentially deadly mistakes, or ones that cause permanent damage, there is a good case for starting a lawsuit against your doctor. You are owed more than what the worker's compensation plan can typically provide. That includes compensation for your misery as well as for future disability.
Working with Worker's Compensation Gets Tricky
Your worker's compensation plan was what was originally paying for your medical bills. That gets tricky when there is a malpractice at hand too. The worker's compensation plan may require you to pay back part or all of their payments to medical care providers. They may be reluctant to cover the costs of future care relating to the incident once it's clear that there has been a malpractice. This is where a worker's compensation lawyer or personal injury attorney comes in. They will help you sort out the legal issues that come with a dual insurance claim and lawsuit. It may be that your medical bills should be paid with a medical lien until your settlement can be worked out.