Issue: September 2015
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Arthritis Pain and Inflammation: Diagnosis and Treatment Risks

Introduction

Liability Risks for Diagnosing and Treating Arthritis

Millions of people in the U.S., approximately one in five adults, have been diagnosed with arthritis, which is said to be the most common condition causing disability. Experts anticipate that the number of adults with arthritis will increase to 67 million by 2030.

 

There are many types of arthritis. Treatment approaches for pain and inflammation include medication, surgery, and non-pharmacologic therapies. 

 

Litigation risks related to the diagnosis or treatment of arthritis include medical malpractice for provider acts and omissions and product liability related to medication or medical devices. Awards and settlements can be high reaching into the millions of dollars.

 

Attorneys, physicians, insurers, employers, manufacturers, and other potential parties to the litigation should be aware of the types of lawsuits and liability issues that can arise in connection with the diagnosis or treatment of arthritis.


The Perspectives: Improve Your Strategy

Attorneys:

What proof is needed to establish medical malpractice in the diagnosis or treatment of arthritis? And, what is a potential strategy for the attorney to employ?

Physicians:

How can liability for medical malpractice be avoided for an injury related to the diagnosis or treatment of arthritis? And, what is a potential strategy for the physician to employ?

Insurers:

Can a payout under a medical malpractice liability policy be avoided by proof that the health provider was not negligent or there was no coverage for the provider’s actions? And, what is a potential strategy for the insurer to employ?

Employers:

Can an employer be subject to liability for an employee’s arthritis? And, what is a potential strategy for the employer to use?


Practice the Technique: Checklists

Attorneys:

Check this list of facts and circumstances tending to show a provider’s liability for malpractice or negligence resulting in arthritis injury.

Physicians:

Presented is a checklist of items a physician must consider when defending against claims of malpractice or negligence involving an arthritis injury.

Insurers:

The insurer should check these “red flags” and inconsistencies when investigating a claim of arthritis injury.

Employers:

Use this checklist to determine if the employee’s arthritis is “work related” and occurred “in the course of the employment.”

Expert Analysis

How Do Medical Records Prove or Fail to Prove a Claim for Arthritis?

Jonathan Ginsberg, JD

What Proof Is Needed for a Rheumatoid Arthritis Social Security Disability Claim?

Nancy L. Cavey, JD

What Is Necessary to Prove Arthritis As Work-Related for Workers Compensation Benefits?

Jason Krasno, JD

Litigation

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Arbitration or mediation may be required by contract or statute, may be mandated by the court or, in some circumstances, may be the appropriate method for a negotiated resolution.  


Reasons To Reach Settlement

The following are reasons why the attorney, physician, insurer, or employer would want to reach settlement, and not take the action to trial.


Reasons To Go To Trial

The following are reasons why the attorney, physician, insurer, or employer would want to take the action to trial.


Jury Awards and Settlements

How much have juries awarded and what settlements have been reached recently in cases involving arthritis?



Medical Examples

Arthritis

This section provides a detailed medical overview of arthritis, the forms of arthritic diseases, the effects of arthritis on other body systems, symptoms and diagnosis, and treatment. This section also discusses the patient’s prognosis and ability to work.



Law and Medicine Resources

Law and Medicine Resources

Provided is a listing of law and medical resources for further information on arthritis.


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Arthritis Pain and Inflammation: Diagnosis and Treatment Risks

Table of Contents
Introduction

Expert Analysis
   Jonathan Ginsberg, JD
   Nancy L. Cavey, JD
   Jason Krasno, JD

The Perspectives: Improve Your Strategy
   Attorneys
   Physicians and Health Providers
   Insurers
   Employers and Risk Managers

Practice the Technique: Checklists
   Attorney Checklist
   Physician Checklist
   Insurer Checklist
   Employer Checklist

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Reasons To Reach Settlement

Reasons To Go To Trial

Jury Awards and Settlements

Arthritis

Law and Medicine Resources