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Medical Error : The Third Leading Cause Of Death In The US

According to a study published in the British Medical Journal, medical error is the third leading cause of death in the US after heart disease and cancer. Findings of the study were based on data collected from four different studies that assessed the rate of medical deaths between the years 2000-2008.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) compiled a list of some of the most common causes of death in the United States. The study was based on the death certificate forms filled out by physicians, medical examiners, coroners, and funeral directors. Researchers at Johns Hopkins university also carried out a study that estimated that medical error is the third leading cause of death in the United States. The most common causes of death recorded include heart disease, followed, by cancer, medical error, respiratory disease, accidents, stroke, Alzhimer's diabetes, flu/pneumonia, kidney disease, and suicide.

Many times, medical error is not included on death certificates or in rankings of cause of death. Proper reporting will contribute to better availability of statistics and reports. Improved reporting will help identify the scale of the problem which will then prove useful in creating strategies to help reduce the rate of medical error.

According to authors Martin Makary, MD, MPH, professor of surgery, and research fellow Michael Daniel, from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, medical error should be a top priority for research and resources. Inaccurate information is one piece of the puzzle, whereas the other piece is the fact that much of the information collected in these studies is considered self-reported. Hospitals are given the option of not to report, and errors on death certificates are falsified on a daily basis. Many times, these issues in reporting occur due to blatant disregard of the truth instead of actual errors.

It is not surprising that National Medical Malpractice Advocacy Association has received many calls and complaints about medical records and death certificates being falsified, mainly to protect hospitals or physicians who call in a favor.

What is Medical Error?

Medical error refers to the unintended act, either omission or commission, that someone does, resulting in an unfavorable outcome other than the desired one. Any of the following acts may be classified as medical error:

  • Failure of a planned action to be completed as intended, also called error of execution
  • Using a wrong plan to achieve an aim, also called error of planning
  • Deviating from the process of care that may cause harm to the patient

Medical errors can happen due to the negligence of a single individual, such as a doctor, nurse, or other health care provider, or it could occur at the system level. If you or a loved one has suffered losses or has died as a result of medical error or negligence, get in touch with a wrongful death attorney or personal injury lawyer who will evaluate the case at no cost of obligation.

Know Your Legal Rights In Workers' Compensation Cases

Employers and HR managers need to be aware of important information concerning workers' compensation. This will help protect their legal rights in case a workplace injury case arises. First of all, employers need to be aware that they are required to purchase insurance that provides benefits to employees who suffer any illnesses or injuries that are work-related. Usually, employees get all the benefits regardless of who was at fault. But by understanding how workers' compensation works, employers can get protection from lawsuits that may be filed by injured employees who seek monetary damages for any pain, suffering, or mental anguish sustained on the job. Read on to get important information related to Workers' Compensation.

What does Workers' Compensation Cover?

Although workers' comp law mostly covers work-related injuries or illnesses, the injury or illness may not have necessarily occurred in the workplace. It will be covered as long as it is job-related. Employees who sustain an injury while traveling on a business trip, or while they are running a work-related errand outside of office, or if they are attending a social function which is business-related and they sustain an injury, it will all be covered under Workers' Comp.

What is Not Covered by Workers' Compensation?

If the employee sustains an injury intentionally at the workplace by using an intoxicating drug, or by self-inflicting harm on themselves, that will not be covered by workers' comp. Similarly, injuries sustained in a fight started by the employee, or injuries resulting due to violation of company policy will also not be covered by workers' comp. Felony-related injuries, injuries that an employee suffers while off the job, injuries claimed after an employee is terminated from their job, and injuries sustained to an independent contractor who is working on a project for another company will not be covered by workers comp.

Employers Responsibilities for Workers' Comp

Employers have certain obligations when it comes to workers' compensation. If these requirements are not met, they will be fined. Moreover, injured employees may be able to sue them in court. When businesses do not provide workers' comp coverage as required by law, the employees may be able to file a lawsuit against their employer in civil court.

To avoid such episodes from occurring, employers are required to provide injured employees with a workers' comp form within 24 hours of receiving report of an injury at work. Employers are also required to inform their employees about their rights under the workers' compensation system, usually in the form of a pamphlet or flyer.

Anyone injured at the workplace can contact a personal injury lawyer who knows how to handle workers' comp cases to file a claim. Workers' compensation will help pay for your medical care, rehabilitation, and some wage replacement in case you have to miss work due to the injury. In order to get workers' comp benefits, a claim must be filed following your state's procedures carefully.

Our Criminal Defense Lawyer Oklahoma City, OK has dedicated their lives to the craft and stand by your side throughout the entire case, should you have any questions or concerns about the process.

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