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Boston Medical Malpractice and Workers' Compensation Blog

An OSHA violation can lead to workers' compensation claims

If you work in the construction industry here in New England, you may have worked on job sites that wound up shut down due to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) complaints.

Some OSHA complaints are generated by on-the-job mishaps where workers have already been injured. But others arise over conditions that are ripe for causing injuries but that have yet to do so. When it is the former, you have the right to seek financial compensation for the injuries that you suffered due to a company's failure to protect their workers from workplace hazards.

Was that amputation really necessary?

In prior centuries, a severe crushing injury or spreading infection in the limbs ended in either the patient's death or with the amputation of the mangled or diseased limb. Fortunately, modern medicine has advanced to the point where an affected limb may often be salvaged by a gifted orthopedic surgeon.

With limb salvage, the surgeon's goal is to maintain and restore stability to the limb, and when it is the legs that are affected, to allow the patient to remain ambulatory.

It's possible to appeal when turned down for workers' comp

You work hard for your employer and do your best carrying out the daily duties required of your job. It stands to reason that your company would have your back after you suffer an on-the-job injury.

Unfortunately for some Boston workers, that is not always the case. Some companies reject their employees' claims for workers' compensation benefits, including cash benefits and covered medical care.

Were you crippled by orthopedic malpractice?

Anyone who has ever broken a bone knows just how painful a fracture can be. In fact, part of the reason why fractures are treated as emergencies is the pain they cause to the patients.

However, in some cases, a broken bone may not be immediately recognized by the doctors in the emergency room. Some minor fractures don't readily show up on X-rays, especially if the patient is older and the break is to the hip or wrist. Regardless, when there is pain in the area that does not fade, orthopedic surgeons should employ other diagnostic tools in their arsenals, like bone scans, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), angiograms or computed tomography (CT) scans.

Why you should take a stand against medical malpractice

If a medical provider failed to properly diagnose or treat your illness or injury and you wound up with a worsened condition as a result of their negligence, you have the right to seek justice.

Arguably, you also have the responsibility to file a malpractice claim that can alert potential patients and licensing boards to the doctor's negligence.

How can victims of medical malpractice prove their cases?

It is devastating to learn that the Massachusetts doctor you trusted to care for you, provide you with the right medical care and give you the right diagnosis let you down. No doctor is perfect, and there are times when an honest mistake happens or there is an unavoidable issue. This is why medicine is a practice and not an exact science, but how can you know when a mistake is more than just a mistake? 

The main reason for most medical malpractice claims is negligence. If you think your doctor acted negligently, how can you prove your case? It is in your interests to review the circumstances of your case and determine if you have grounds to move forward with a claim against your doctor. If you are suffering due to the reckless or negligent actions or decisions of a medical professional, you do not have to suffer in silence.

Were you exposed to bio-hazards at work?

Nurses and other health care workers face some unique challenges with biological workplace hazards. But many employed in other professions are surprised to find themselves at risk of biological hazards in fields that have nothing to do with health care.

Biological hazards arise from natural components in animals, humans or plants. They can originate in insect or vermin infestations, fungus or mold spores or sick people or animals. The management of these biohazards can determine how they affect the workers exposed to them.

Impaired nurses are negligent by default

The opioid crisis that hit the Boston area hard has also left an indelible impact on the medical profession. From over-prescribing physicians to addicted nurses, the shock waves continue to reverberate throughout the Boston medical community.

It can take a while to spot an addicted nurse on the job. After all, an addict's descent into addiction is typically slow and incremental. On the job, where they are responsible for patient care, an addicted nurse may be able to inflict substantial harm to their patients before ever drawing the patients' ire or the attention of those in supervisory roles.

Were you a victim of patient abandonment?

Much as with other important people in your life, you and your doctor share a relationship. But that goes much farther than your doctor's bedside manner and the cordial banter between the two of you when you visit.

You and your doctor have also established a legal relationship that is based on the continuity of care that is provided to you by your physician. Under the legal terms of that relationship, your doctor may not abandon you as a patient without formally notifying you of such and also justifying why they are severing the relationship.

Birth injuries: When medical negligence is a factor

Having a baby might be one of the most exciting, joyful times in your life. It can also be a bit stressful, especially if you have a health condition that necessitates specialized care and monitoring during pregnancy, labor and delivery. Like all good parents in Massachusetts and beyond, you want what's best for your child, even while he or she is still in the womb. You can do your part in pregnancy by attending your prenatal doctor visits and informing your obstetrician of any concerning issues that might arise.

Your OB, nurses and other medical team members are there to keep you and your baby as safe as possible. In fact, you can reasonably expect that your medical team will provide high-quality care, according to state regulations and accepted safety standards. Sadly, that's not always how it goes. Many families are devastated when birth injuries occur that might have been prevented were it not for medical negligence.