Receiving appropriate medical care is extremely important, as communities around the country put trust in medical professionals and hospitals. There have been occurrences when medical professionals provide incorrect services and care making it incredibly necessary to report the situation to state medical boards, medical board websites, and the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Report Cards. There are many different types of medical claims that the general public can file against medical professionals and hospitals from medication errors and improper treatment to diagnosis errors and releasing a patient too early.
Types of Medical Complaints
Within the medical field, there are many areas in which medical complaints can be filed, but it’s essential to thoroughly think about your experience before starting a claim as there are times where patients receiving even the best medical care can’t find relief.
- Medication Errors: If you’ve discovered an error in your medication prescription from incorrect type and dose to frequency and administration route, it may be time to file a complaint. Many medications carry risks of side effects, and improper administration can lead to serious personal injury or death.
- Improper Treatment: After being diagnosed with a medical condition, your doctor will prescribe specific medications, treatments, and surgeries. There have been instances where inappropriate treatments or surgeries have taken place, and if you’ve experienced this, filing a medical complaint is an option.
- Diagnosis Errors: Catching severe medical conditions early on is extremely important to your overall health. If you or a loved one has been misdiagnosed or suspect a delayed diagnosis, filing a medical complaint may be the next step.
- Releasing a Patient Too Early: If you’re in the hospital for a medical condition, proper guidance and instructions are vital to your recovery. Instances where patients are discharged before they’re ready or without appropriate instructions can result in serious harm.
Where to Find Information
There are many resources available for the general public to utilize to research their doctor or hospital adequately. It’s encouraged to look into your doctor’s background and identify any potential red flags or areas that raise suspicion. If you discover any areas of concern, it’s recommended to confront your doctor to see what went on and further determine whether you wish to start or continue receiving treatment from them.
Federation of State Medical Boards Physician Data Center
The Federation of State Medical Boards is a non-profit organization representing 71 state medical boards throughout the United States. This organization has a Physician Data Center that provides the general public with detailed information about various medical professionals licensed by the represented boards. Individuals that access the Physician Data Center can review information such as:
- Board Certifications
- Educational Background
- Past Disciplinary Actions
- States Where the Doctor is Licensed
Accessing your doctor’s background will help you get a better understanding of their experience and track record. It’s incredibly important to have an experienced doctor familiar with and trained to care for your specific medical condition properly. Reviewing any past disciplinary actions will also help you determine how serious your doctor’s previous allegations, if any, have been and if there are any similarities to your situation.
Access Medical Boards Online
States across the country have medical boards, and all medical errors are required to be reported to the designated medical complaint board. Each state has different processes for filing a complaint, but ultimately the process begins with the patient submitting a report to the board. This information is available to any individual to inform the medical community of a doctor or hospital’s wrongdoing and the general public as a precautionary measure so others won’t fall into the same situation. Each state has an appointed agency that licenses, regulates, and disciplines doctors who engage in professional misconduct. Each agency has a database that is available to the general public as well. When conducting research, it’s vital to account for all states your doctor is licensed and practices in as you may have to review multiple medical board websites to further solidify your case.
National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Report Cards
The National Committee for Quality Assurance Report Cards is a non-profit organization that tracks the quality and successes of health care providers, organizations, and plans. Within the NCQA, a scoring system is utilized to assess doctors’ and practices’ performance and malpractice history. The report cards don’t detail past complaints or background, but it does provide you with the reassurance that the doctor, practice, or plan you’re inquiring about are devoted to keeping patients healthy by providing adequate treatment.
Visiting the county’s courthouse where your doctor practices or where the hospital is located is an excellent option if you want to review previous complaints filed against your doctor or hospital. Courthouses will have access to all previous medical malpractice lawsuits that have been recorded, which can help determine whether a situation has happened in the past that’s similar to you or your loved ones’. Each state differs in the processes to retrieve court records, but there will likely be options to request and view them in person or electronically.
If you have identified a mistake in your medical care, it’s imperative to file a complaint to protect others from having the same experience. There are many preventative measures you can take to avoid your chances of being involved in a medical error:
- Ask Plenty of Questions: At any doctor’s appointment, it’s encouraged to ask your doctor as many questions as you can regarding your care, treatment, and their findings. This will help you better understand your condition and treatment recommendations and help you identify whether your doctor has your best interest in mind.
- Research Your Doctor: Before scheduling an appointment with any doctor, it’s encouraged to conduct thorough background research to ensure they are the right physician. Review their care focus, complaint history, and reviews from previous patients.
- Bring Someone Along: Having another set of ears at your doctor’s appointment can help reduce your risk of being a medical error victim. Invite a friend or family member to join you at your appointment to listen in, ask questions, take notes, and serve as a witness should an issue develop down the road.
Start Your Medical Claim Today
If you’ve received medical care that you believe is incorrect or have been harmed by a medical professional’s care, it’s encouraged to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to start a medical claim. Adequate medical care is critical to your well-being and quality of life. Any medical professionals or hospitals must be held accountable should they not provide correct medical care. Start your medical claim today to begin your trip to recovery and relief.Read More
As personal injury and employment law professionals, we see a lot of work-related injuries day in and day out. It’s far more common than one might think. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that roughly 2.8 million workplace injuries and illnesses occurred in 2018 (last reported data). That number is compounded by 5,000 fatal injuries as well.
The consequences of a work-related injury can range from missed work, distress, trauma, loss of income, and other issues that can severely impact the victim. Every worker should be aware of the risks and dangers that are all-too-common so that they can fulfill their employment obligations in a safe and protected environment.
Employees should also be aware of how management and their work are handling safety issues, compliance standards, and other various requirements that create a hazard-free and safe work environment. It’s also important for workers to understand how their insurance covers worker’s compensation and other injury-related issues.
Common Work-Related Injuries
Slip and Falls
We’ll begin our list with one of the most well known work-related injuries — slip and falls. These are so renowned because they’re not specific to one or two industries. Instead, they can happen to almost anyone, anywhere, at any time.
Slip injuries can be surprisingly severe, resulting in head injuries such as concussions or traumatic brain injuries (TBI), or broken bones and spinal cord damages. These injuries can occur as a result of fallen debris, lubricants, fluids, or even beverages spilling onto the floor. They can also be caused by frozen temperatures and icy conditions. It’s not uncommon for these types of injuries to include bruises, sprains, or even torn ligaments or muscles.
Fall injuries can be especially serious, especially for construction workers. The Occupational Safety Health Administration (OSHA) reports that falls are the number one cause of death for construction personnel.
Work-Related Car and Motor-Vehicle Injuries
Traffic poses a continuous threat, even for the on-the-job employee. If we’re looking at all work-related deaths, traffic accidents are at the top of the list in the United States, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
Managing compensation concerns following a vehicle accident can be a challenge. Commuting workers aren’t eligible for worker’s comp in an incident where they’re involved in a crash to or from work.
However, some workers drive as a central part of their job. This could include:
- Delivery drivers
- Semi-truck drivers
- Construction workers
- And more
It’s important to know what compensation you may be eligible for if driving is a core aspect of your job. Even workers that may be driving on behalf of their employer, whether to drop off a package or running errands, should know how they may or may not be protected.
Obtaining full compensation for a work-related car accident where you’re not at fault means that you may need to pursue damages against the other party involved. Knowing how to respond after an accident can help prepare you for the long road ahead. Check out our article, “4 Essential Steps to Take After a Car Accident,” to learn more.
Falling Objects & Machine Accidents
Some of the most frightening work-related injuries can happen as a result of fallen objects and machine accidents. Certain work areas are hotbeds for falling objects such as product shelves, ladders, pallets, or upper-level areas that may be disturbed. These can be extremely dangerous and can result in injuries to the head or face — or even foot. Some falling objects may shatter, resulting in eye injuries as well.
Workplace machinery has come a long way, and while injuries and accidents are less common, they still present a serious risk to workers. These are the horror stories you hear all-too-often. Amputations and other disfigurements are severe issues with machine workers. Machine accidents can also cause chemical burns, thermal burns, and electrical injuries as well.
Over-Extension and Repetitive Motion Injuries
Some injuries may not be life-threatening, but they can rack up absurd medical bills. Over-extension, whether from pulling, lifting, pushing, gripping, throwing, or carrying on the job may result in sprains, tears, and strains. While these seem relatively harmless on the surface, they can result in expensive surgeries or physical rehabilitation — which may cause an employee to miss work. It’s an extremely common reason for work-related back-injuries as well, which can be difficult to recover from.
Repetitive motion is fairly self-explanatory. Repetitive movements put an extraordinary amount of stress on the body. Now, these work injuries can occur in occupations that you might be thinking, such as construction with repetitive hammering or other motions. However, these can also occur from seemingly simple tasks such as scanning groceries, typing, or reaching for paperwork.
Now, nearly every worker in the United States expects a violent-free workplace. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Workers have been disabled, injured, or even killed as a result of workplace violence. Violent crimes are not immune to a workplace environment, and armed robberies, burglaries, or theft may leave employees physically, emotionally, mentally scarred.
Perhaps the most terrifying situation can arise when a current or former employee attacks their fellow coworkers. These violent acts, while rare, still leave workers eligible for the compensation they deserve.
Creating a Safer Work Environment
It’s the employer’s responsibility to create a safe and secure work environment so that workers can feel protected while on the job. Safety checklists, compliance with OSHA and EPA requirements, along with any other legal obligations, is a must. Creating a safe work environment is not only a duty but also holds legal precedence.
Workers should be aware of their rights concerning work-related injuries and seek a personal injury attorney they can rely on if accidents do occur. Keep all workplace documents and contracts, not only for your own knowledge but also as evidence of any failed obligations by your employer. Work-related injuries may be common, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be prepared. If you or someone you know has been affected by a work-related injury, speak to a personal injury or employment law professional.Read More