What happens when a physician misdiagnoses a serious accident injury? Can a misdiagnosis negatively affect a workers' compensation claim? It is a common problem and it is estimated that upwards of 15%-20% of patients are misdiagnosed by physicians. Misdiagnosis is something that affects over 20 million people per year in the United States. In the context of a workers' compensation claim, it can have serious repercussions that can include negative health effects and claim denial. Each year there are approximately 250,000 lost-time injuries in the United States. Statistically, up to 50,000 of these individuals could be misdiagnosed by their physician. If the case involves a serious injury such asTraumatic Brain Injury or spinal cord damage, that error rate rises to approximately 50%. When you have a tractor-trailer accident, car accident, motorcycle accident, farm accident or workers' compensation accident, the misdiagnosis may leave you with improper treatment where you never get better. At Brad Pistotnik Law, we have an entire medical textbook library and Brad has read dozens and dozens of medical textbooks in order to be able to properly take depositions of doctors in their unique specialized different professions and from bringing many nursing home and medical malpractice cases. Our staff is trained to help determine if you are getting the appropriate medical treatment so that we can help you get better quickly. While we are not doctors, lawyers who concentrate work in medical-legal work usually become highly proficient at questioning doctors in their own specialized medical education which helps you prove your case.
Misdiagnosis of a work related injury can place an individual's life in danger by delaying treatment for serious underlying conditions such as spinal cord fractures suffered in a fall or cancer that develops after a toxic exposure. These errors can have a significant impact on a worker's health and safety and may lead to potentially life-threatening consequences. Common causes of misdiagnosis of a worker's injury includes failure to run the appropriate diagnostic tests, failure to thoroughly record symptoms, failure to properly physically examine the patient's condition, and incorrectly reading the patient's medical history and test results.
When a patient discovers they have been misdiagnosed they should request that all medical records be immediately updated with an amendment that includes the new, correct diagnosis. This helps protect the accuracy of the records and also makes it possible for the individual to pursue the correct medical treatment for their injury. Most importantly, it stops any courses of treatment that are not relevant or beneficial to the workers' ailment(s). This is important because it helps prevent the treatment from causing additional damage that can complicate the injury. It's also crucial because ceasing medical treatment against doctor recommendations prior to a correct medical diagnosis can be grounds to deny a workers' compensation claim for a serious accident injury.
Workers should make any amendments to their workers' compensation claim promptly. Individuals may file a workers' compensation claim for up to two years from the incident. However, if at a later date the real injury is discovered, it is possible that the claim for the injury can be denied because the discovery occurred outside the statute of limitations. This can leave an injured worker responsible for covering the costs of treatment on their own even when the link between cause and injury is evident. These are some of the reasons it is crucial to seek multiple medical opinions as early as possible in the process to ensure that the correct condition(s) are recorded and the appropriate courses of treatment prescribed.
Brad Pistotnik Law represents injured workers in Wichita, Garden City, Liberal, Colby, Oklahoma City, Kearney, Kansas City, Dodge City, Goodland, Newton, Salina, Tulsa and other cities in Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Missouri and Illinois whose workers' compensation claim involves a misdiagnosed medical condition. Our team can help amend workers' compensation and medical records and submit the correct documentation for the claim following a serious accident injury.
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