Practice Areas
Protecting Injured Clients Across Massachusetts
Your Rights Matter

Boston Medical Malpractice and Workers' Compensation Blog

Is failure to diagnose skin conditions a big problem?

When discussing or thinking about failure to diagnose, conditions that affect the skin are often overlooked. Because people can see most of their skin every day, they may think that nothing is wrong. However, many patients may not notice the symptoms associated with such conditions because they see their own skin so often.

As you age, you may not notice when wrinkles first appear because you look at your face every day in the mirror. Like the aging process, skin conditions evolve and change over time, meaning that many patients do not notice if a problem develops. On the other hand, some people see every new spot as a potential problem, but they may also feel that they are just being paranoid so they never seek a diagnosis.

How to do your part in preventing hospital negligence

Mistakes on the part of any hospital employee can pose significant injury risks to you or a hospitalized family member. Most of us expect these medical professionals to provide competent, if not extraordinary, medical care to each person in need. Most of the time, that is exactly what happens, but other times, errors or outright negligence puts you or your family in harm's way.

One piece published on KevinMD.com recounts the story of a couple (both of them health professionals) with an infant daughter who needed hospital-based light therapy treatment for elevated bilirubin. The couple was appalled and deeply concerned to see outdated therapy equipment handled by a staff that seemed to know little about how to use the equipment. Worse, there was no attending physician on duty with whom the couple could discuss their concerns.

Latest information about work-related deaths in Massachusetts

Common sense will tell you that any occupation could be dangerous in its own unique way. However, as nearly everyone recognizes, some jobs are inherently more dangerous than others. A recent report concerning on-the-job deaths in Massachusetts shines a harsh spotlight on several of the most dangerous occupations in the state.

One of the most disturbing points the report revealed was that work-related deaths have not declined. Instead, the data period from January 2017 through March 1, 2018 saw an 11-year high (74 deaths) in Massachusetts. Below you will find additional workplace injury statistics uncovered by the report.

  • Almost 80,000 non-fatal occupational illnesses and injuries were recorded during the data period.
  • Transportation-related events resulted in 31 fatalities, with many of the victims not wearing seat belts.
  • Construction accidents remain the most significant problem, accounting for 33 percent of work-related fatalities.
  • Out of every 100,000 workers in the state, 2.1 suffered fatal workplace injuries.

Did your boss warn you about occupational disease hazards?

Many workplaces in Massachusetts expose workers to hazards that could cause harm and days off work. Depending on the type of industry in which you work, you might be at a higher risk of contracting a disease than suffering bodily injuries. Some develop over time and become a chronic or serious health issue years later.

Although you might feel comfortable with the knowledge that the workers' compensation insurance program will have your back if you should suffer workplace injuries, you might have questions about the type of coverage the system offers for occupational illnesses. Securing financial compensation might be challenging in such circumstances.

Is it difficult to prove orthopedic malpractice?

Any case involving medical negligence will have its own unique set of difficulties to overcome, and orthopedic malpractice is no exception. While courts do not purposely make it difficult for malpractice victims, they do require proof of negligence. If a simple accusation were enough to win a malpractice case, there would probably be a lot fewer doctors practicing in America.

Before undergoing an orthopedic procedure, a doctor must explain any risks associated with the treatment and get the patient's consent for the procedure. This serves two purposes: It informs the patient about anything that might go wrong, and it protects the health care provider because he or she disclosed the possible risks to the patient. Other basic duties of an orthopedic surgeon include making the right diagnosis and performing any procedures in compliance with the standards of care.

Workers' compensation: How insurers look for fraud

Suffering a workplace injury is a risk for all Boston employees. The effects of such an injury can include loss of earning potential and job security as well as massive financial hardships. Even worse, victims must endure these negative effects on top of the physical pain and suffering caused by the injury.

You know that workers' compensation is there to help you pay for your medical treatment and to replace a portion of your lost income when injured at work. Without these benefits, it is safe to assume that your losses would multiply significantly. Imagine the horror you would feel if you received notice that your workers' compensation insurance carrier denied your claim.

Misdiagnosing Lyme disease, the great imitator

Living in Boston and other regions of Massachusetts means you are no stranger to ticks. Notorious for hitching a ride on skin, clothing and even pets, deer ticks can cause a great deal of suffering when they bite. Worsening the situation, Lyme disease is one of the most misdiagnosed illnesses in the United States.

The medical professionals on our staff want you to know why Lyme disease can be very hard to diagnose. Often called the great imitator, Lyme disease mimics many other illnesses like fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, Alzheimer's disease and even multiple sclerosis in some cases.

What are some common yet preventable hospital infections?

Imagine entering a hospital in Boston for a minor outpatient surgical procedure. After the surgery, you go home and resume your life only to wake up several days later with symptoms such as severe pain, fever and/or swelling. Alarmed, you contact your doctor to arrange an examination where you learn that you have acquired a serious hospital-borne infection.

Hospital-acquired infections are more common than you may think. In many cases, they are a form of actionable hospital negligence or malpractice. This means that you may have grounds to file a malpractice lawsuit if you contracted a serious infection in a hospital. Your wisest course of action in such cases is to seek legal advice about the specifics of your infection-related injury.

Work-related crush injuries can sideline you for life

Boston is home to many employees who work in an industrial setting such as a factory or a warehouse. Unfortunately, this type of work comes with many risks to a worker's personal safety. One of the most overlooked or unexpected of these risks involves having one or more body parts crushed by heavy objects.

In a factory, for example, a worker could suffer a crush injury if part of his or her body becomes caught in a piece of machinery. In a warehouse setting, crush injuries could occur if a heavy object falls from height and lands on a worker's body. Construction workers also run the risk of suffering crush injuries.

Communication, staff issues could lead to medical mistakes

No one wants to become the victim of a medical error. These mistakes often prove serious or even fatal. Unfortunately, they're more common than you might think. In fact, according to a study at Johns Hopkins, medical mistakes are the third leading cause of death in the United States - ranking higher than diabetes, Alzheimer's disease and strokes.

Why does medical negligence keep happening? While multiple factors contribute, the biggest culprits include lack of communication and improper staffing.