Medical Malpractice in Workers’ Compensation Claims
The workers’ compensation system is designed to assist injured employees with obtaining compensation for their work-related harm. Often, this involves seeking medical treatment and therapy to address an injury. As in any medical setting, however, there are some instances in which an injured worker’s condition is made worse due to a treating physician’s medical malpractice. This may have an impact on the underlying claim because workers’ compensation commissioners rely on doctors’ opinions in determining the benefits that an injured employee is entitled to receive. Knowledgeable Greenville and Spartanburg workers’ compensation lawyer Patrick E. Knie can advise you on your options if you have been harmed by medical malpractice during this process.The South Carolina Workers’ Compensation System and the Risk of Medical Malpractice
Under South Carolina law, any employer that regularly maintains four or more employees on a part-time or full-time basis must carry workers’ compensation insurance. The state workers’ compensation claims system is based on a no-fault recovery scheme. This means that an injured worker does not need to show that the employer was negligent or reckless to receive benefits. The workers’ compensation system also precludes injured workers from suing their employers for compensation through a personal injury claim. However, an employee may still sue a third party for injuries that they sustained because of the third party’s negligence.
The Workers’ Compensation Commission relies on doctors and other health care providers to resolve issues about the appropriateness of medical treatment. A wide variety of medical professionals and entities may act in a negligent manner, including physicians, therapists, nurses, and hospitals. Medical malpractice consists of failing to provide a patient with the same level of care and treatment that other competent professionals in that specialty would use. Common examples of sub-standard care include failing to request treatments, tests, or medications, failing to diagnose a condition in a timely fashion, or committing a surgical error.
If you have been a victim of medical malpractice, and it has worsened the injuries that originally resulted from your job-related accident or illness, you may recover increased benefits through the workers’ compensation system for the additional harm that you suffered. For example, if you had a 20 percent impairment rating before the incident of malpractice but a 50 percent rating after the malpractice, your benefits would be calculated based on the 50 percent rating.Discuss Your Claim With a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Greenville or Spartanburg
At the Knie & Shealy Law Offices, we have helped many residents of Laurens, Union, Spartanburg, Greenville, and Cherokee Counties with navigating the complex landscapes of workers’ compensation claims and medical malpractice cases. Spartanburg and Greenville workers’ compensation attorney Patrick E. Knie provides a free consultation to prospective clients to help them learn more about their legal situation and how we may be able to help, including in situations in which medical malpractice has exacerbated a victim’s injuries. Call us now at (864) 582-5118 or contact us online to schedule an appointment with a workers’ compensation or medical malpractice lawyer.