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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    3

    Exclamation Medical Malpractice

    My workers compensation claim was made in the State of: nc

    i understand that with wc you are never allowed to sue the employer or workers comp, but can you sue a doctor for medical malpractice (assuming you would have a valid case anyway)?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    39

    Default Re: Medical Malpractice

    Quote Quoting muchochaos View Post
    My workers compensation claim was made in the State of: nc

    i understand that with wc you are never allowed to sue the employer or workers comp, but can you sue a doctor for medical malpractice (assuming you would have a valid case anyway)?

    If the doctor working for your workers comp insurance company/employer is considered a co-employee then he or she generally has immunity when it comes to medical malpractice in nc. If This doctor is seen as a third party then there is some possibility of going to court for medical malpractice. The insurance company will already have their doctors lined up and many of them doctors have been with these insurance companies for years and lawyers already know who they are and who they are really working for,so to sue a doctor who is getting paid by a workers comp insurance company will be very difficult. Especially when workers compensations purpose is to benefit your employer by getting less then what you would get thru litigation.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Calif
    Posts
    18,021

    Default Re: Medical Malpractice

    That's quite an explanation...can't tell where it came from, but malpractice is not limited to workers compensation...nor does it have anything to do with a ''co-employee''...

    In order to prove malpractice you have to show/prove the doctor treated you outside the norm...that you had an expectation of treatment that is the usual and customary treatment in the field, and area of practice in your community...
    basically as follows...
    Medical malpractice is an act or omission by a health care provider which deviates from accepted standards of practice in the medical community and which causes injury to the patient. Simply put, medical malpractice is professional negligence (by a healthcare provider) that causes an injury.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medical_malpractice

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    2,165

    Default Re: Medical Malpractice

    That is correct, BvIA...the additional complication of pursuing a medical malpractice against a WC is whether or not there is a "patient-doctor" relationship.

    IF the Doctor is an IME, hired by the IC to perform a med-legal evaluation for an "opinion", it has been held by the Courts in most states that this does NOT meet the threshold criteria of patient-doctor relationship, because there is NO EXPECTATION that the IW will RELY on that opinion, AND, the IME is NOT considered a "treating physician"...

    In Calif in another Forum there has been quite a debate recently about whether or not this holds true for AMEs...because since both parties "agreed" to the AME, and both AGREED to be BOUND by the AME's opinions and treatment recommendations, then some proponents argue the AME is therefore NOT shielded by the "immunity laws" that the Courts have traditionally extended to IMEs!

    North Carolina might have some VERY different WC laws, when it pertains to WC doctors assigned by the IC to be the PTP for the IW, but without more research, I really could not say definitively whether or not they are immune or NOT...IF curious1 IS referring to an "IME" however, then in most probablility the IME IS shielded and immune from a malpractice suit....

    ACTUAL TREATING physicians are "fair game", but it sometimes can be difficult to find ANOTHER Doctor from the community who is WILLING to testify against a colleague!!!

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