Can I file a medical malpractice case if workers’ comp is paying for my medical bills?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can I file a medical malpractice case if workers’ comp is paying for my medical bills?

I believe I have a case of a medical malpractice which I had no idea existed until my mother talked to an attorney. I was injured through work by a forklift that fractured my heel, torn ligaments and bone fragments but I’m being covered by workers’ comp who’s paying my medical bills but throughout myself being under the doctor’s negligence I developed an infection in my foot because it was never properly taken care of after the accident. Then I developed a bacterial infection in my stomach through my foot do I still have a case through medical malpractice and will it even be worth it because I’m not paying for my medical bills?

Asked on December 26, 2016 under Malpractice Law, Arizona


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Two different questions are present here:
1) Can you file a medical malpractice case (obviously, only if the medical care was negligent [careless] or otherwise substandard), if worker's comp is paying your medical bills? Yes: you can file for (potentially) future lost earning potential (if you face permaent disability) and/or for pain and suffering--i.e. for elements of a claim not paid by worker's comp.
2) Whether it's worth it--probably not. If your medical costs have been paid, you can't get anything for them: you can't "double recover" for the same cost. If you had an infection, even a bad one, unless it has some significant permanent effect (e.g. it damaged your stomach so you will forever have significant problems with digestion; or will in some way keep you from working as much [or at all] in the future, lowering your income), the amount you could get for "pain and suffering" for a even a few weeks of pain or discomfort is so low that you'd spend far more on the lawsuit (e.g. on the medical expert[s] you *must* hire for a malpractice case) then you'd get back. Only if you suffered some very long lasting or permanent disability or impairment would it be worthwhile to consider a case.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption