You trust a doctor with your health or the health of a loved one. That’s a reasonable assumption: doctors and other medical professionals have sworn to provide safe, ethical, and accurate medical treatment to their patients. But this doesn’t always happen. 250,000 people in America are victims of medical malpractice each year.
If you trusted a medical professional with your health or a loved one’s health and something went wrong; you deserve answers. Our Chicago medical malpractice lawyers are here to help you. We have years of experience helping victims of medical malpractice and their families throughout Illinois.
We know that medical negligence brings pain and suffering into the lives of victims and their families as well as a financial burden. We offer compassionate and professional service and help our clients pursue compensation that will help them move past the challenges they’re facing. Contact our attorneys at (312) 300-2515, for a free and confidential consultation.
What Should I Do If I Believe I’m A Victim of Medical Malpractice?
If you believe you or a loved one has suffered harm because of medical malpractice, contact an experienced Chicago medical malpractice lawyer today. The longer you wait the harder it will be to prove negligence.
An attorney can deal with a medical professional, hospital, and insurance company on your behalf. An attorney will start an immediate investigation of your claim and take the necessary steps to preserve important evidence.
When you meet with a Chicago medical malpractice lawyer, they will ask you the following questions:
- What medical condition caused you or a loved one to seek medical treatment?
- When did you receive treatment for the medical condition?
- Where did you receive treatment?
- Who administered the treatment to you?
- What treatment did the medical practitioner administer?
- How has the treatment harmed you emotionally, physically, and financially?
Thus, it’s essential to compile your medical records, invoices, and insurance statements. However, if you don’t have these documents, that shouldn’t stop you from seeking legal help.
Medical Malpractice Statistics
- According to a study published in BMJ, approximately 40, 500 adults in intensive care units die every year because of misdiagnosis.
- With an estimated cost of nearly $55 billion per year, medical malpractice is a problem of epidemic proportions.
- Only 2% of victims of medical malpractice file claims for compensation.
- According to a 2002 study by Healthgrades, about 195,000 deaths in hospitals in the U.S. were because of potentially preventable medical mistakes.
- According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, over 106,000 patients die every year because of the negative effects of their medication.
- The Institute of Medicine reports that medication errors are the most common medical errors, approximately 1.5 million people suffer injuries from these mistakes every year.
How Much Do Injury Lawyers Cost?
At our Law firm, you pay legal fees for lawyer representation only when you recover compensation. Often, it’s possible to get a larger settlement or verdict if you have the help of an experienced legal professional.
Chicago medical malpractice lawyer’s fees are based on a percentage of the compensation awarded, thus your interest in maximizing your compensation aligns directly with your Chicago medical malpractice lawyer’s interests. We offer free consultation and we can explain how we will maximize your compensation.
We have a 95% success rate across all personal injuries and wrongful death cases, and our zero-fee guarantee means we will always have your best interests in mind. Contact us today to set up a free consultation with one of our experienced Chicago medical malpractice lawyers.
How Can I Prove a Medical Malpractice Claim?
First, you must gather evidence proving your healthcare provider was unreasonably negligent. Then, you must file a civil claim within a specified time period. Otherwise, your claim will be barred. You must file a medical malpractice claim within two years of the incident of medical negligence. However, there are exceptions if you didn’t discover the doctor’s mistake immediately. In all cases, you must file a medical malpractice claim within four years of the incident.
Next, you must file your claim with the right court. And your claim must state a legal cause of action. In Illinois, you must have an affidavit showing your records and health status. A medical professional who has reason to believe the treatment you received could lead to a successful medical malpractice case must review your affidavit. The Illinois Law section 2-622 explains this requirement.
Damages for Medical Malpractice Cases
Illinois doesn’t have caps on medical malpractice damages. That means there’s no limit on the amount you can receive in a settlement. The state allows compensation for damages such as:
- Past and future medical costs
- Lost income or ability to earn income in the future.
- Physical, mental, and emotional pain and suffering.
In the event medical malpractice causes the death of a loved one, you can receive compensation for the damages, including medical expenses and funeral expenses.
Our Chicago medical malpractice lawyers can help make sure that you get fair compensation.
Common Reasons for Malpractice
Medical malpractice is preventable and when it occurs, it’s because of careless errors or negligence from medical professionals. Unprepared surgeons, overworked nurses, careless physicians, and low-staffed hospitals could all cause harm to patients. In a medical malpractice claim, proving negligence is a crucial aspect. To prove negligence, your Chicago medical malpractice lawyer will look at the cause of the accident.
These are the common causes of medical malpractice at Chicago health facilities:
- Medical professional negligence. All medical practitioners must provide adequate care to their patients. This duty of care includes making accurate diagnoses and getting informed consent before undertaking treatment or performing surgery. Any breach of duty of care, resulting in injury to a patient, maybe a medical malpractice.
- Hospital negligence. Sometimes, it’s not a specific physician that harms a patient, but the way hospitals operate. Ignoring medical standards, improper protocols, lack of proper employee training, poor sanitation, and avoidable miscommunications all put patient’s lives in danger.
- Medical device failures. Injuries or deaths can arise because machines fail, shut off abruptly, or malfunction during patient treatment. This comes down to hospital or product manufacturer liability. You can sue the hospital if a lack of proper maintenance caused the defect, while the manufacturer could be liable for underlying faults that existed upon distribution.
The first step towards securing compensation is determining the underlying cause of a medical injury.
If you have suffered medical malpractice, contact our Chicago medical malpractice lawyers. We will investigate the situation, look for signs of negligence or misconduct related to your claim, and file a medical malpractice claim against the at-fault party/parties.
Who Can I Sue for Medical Malpractice?
You can sue any individual who committed malpractice. In most cases, the defendant will be a doctor. But sometimes, a patient can sue an anesthesiologist, a nurse, or another medical professional. You can sue several medical professionals who may have contributed to the medical error, especially if it’s not clear who was responsible. An experienced Chicago medical malpractice lawyer can help determine who was at fault.
If the person who committed the malpractice is a hospital employee or an employee of another entity, you can sue the entity as well. In this case, the hospital will need to show that the employee was acting within their job duties when the medical malpractice happened. A hospital or healthcare center can be liable if it was negligent in its practices or policies as compared to the standards set by a reasonably safe and effective health center in the area.
You can sue clinics and hospitals for actions and omissions of their employees. If a nurse or other staff member were negligent when offering care to a patient in the ordinary cause of work, the actions of the employee are treated as actions of the hospital. Thus, you can sue a hospital to get broader compensation to cover your losses fully.
You can’t sue a hospital if a doctor committed medical malpractice, because most doctors are not employed by hospitals. However, some exceptions may allow you to include the hospital in your lawsuit.
How Long Do You Have to File a Lawsuit in Illinois?
Under Illinois law, you must file a medical malpractice lawsuit within a specific time limit, or else it could be barred, this is called the statute of limitations.
In Illinois, normally you must file your lawsuit within two years from:
- The date of the injury, or
- The date when you discovered the injury.
You can’t file your claim more than four years after the action or omission that caused the injury.
However, there are a few exceptions to this time limit:
- If the victim was underage at the time of the injury, they must file a lawsuit within eight years from the date of the injury or discovery. But in no case can the lawsuit be filed after the victim turns age 22.
- If the victim suffers a disability, the statute of limitations will not begin until after the disability is removed.
Further, the statute of limitations will not run if there was fraudulent concealment of misconduct by the medical practitioner.
If you believe that you or a loved one has suffered medical malpractice; don’t wait to seek legal help. You don’t want to lose the right to seek fair compensation because of failure to take timely action. Contact our Chicago medical malpractice lawyers today for a free case evaluation.
How Do I Know If I've Been a Medical Malpractice Victim?
When you go to see a doctor for treatment, you expect that your condition will improve. However, occasionally the wrongful actions or negligence of a medical professional can cause more harm, and your mental and physical health deteriorates. Sometimes medical malpractice can even result in the death of a patient.
A 2013 study published in the Journal of Patient Safety found that approximately 400, 000 people die prematurely every year because of preventable harm caused by medical professionals. And 10-20 times as many people suffer from non-lethal harm every year. Here are a few signs that may show you or a loved one may be a victim of medical malpractice:
- Failure to diagnose. If a patient goes to a doctor who misses the early signs of disease and dismisses a patient’s symptoms, this can result in complications, or fatalities, in the future. This is especially true for aggressive diseases, such as cancer, where effective treatment depends on early diagnosis, and a delayed diagnosis can make it difficult to treat a patient.
- Misdiagnosis. If a doctor attributes a patient’s symptoms to the wrong disease, this can lead to wrong treatments and medications being administered to a patient, which are not helpful. This can cause the patient’s condition to worsen. If a doctor misdiagnosed you initially and that led to health complications, you might be a victim of medical malpractice.
- A doctor prescribed the wrong medication or dosage. If a doctor prescribes the wrong medication or dosage for your condition, this can lead to an overdose, medical complications, or even death. A doctor must double-check to make sure that the drug they’re prescribing will treat a patient’s condition, and it won’t be harmful to the patient in the dosage prescribed based on a patient’s medical history and their list of medications.
- A lack of informed consent. Most medical treatments and procedures come with a risk of potential complications. Thus, before administering any treatment, doctors must explain to their patients the benefits and the potential risks involved so that the patient can make an informed decision about whether they want to undergo the treatment. If a patient suffers from complications during a procedure in which they were not sufficiently informed of the risks, this can mean there was a lack of informed consent and they might be a victim of medical malpractice.
- Your doctor admits to making a mistake. One of the surest signs of medical malpractice is if a medical professional admits fault. If a doctor admits to making a mistake that led to health complications, such as if they made a surgical error or administered wrong treatment after misdiagnosing you, then you’re a victim of medical malpractice and you should consult an attorney. However, many medical professionals won’t admit fault, which is why it’s crucial to know the signs of medical malpractice.
- A loved one dies during or after a medical procedure. While death is often a risk during many surgeries, if a loved one dies during surgery or was in a stable condition at the hospital but died after being moved to a different facility, then they might be a victim of mistreatment or negligence.
Medical malpractice takes many forms. However, if you or a loved one suffered harm after being neglected by medical professionals, subjected to the wrong surgery, or administered too many medications, then you should consult a Chicago medical malpractice lawyer for legal advice.
Top Medical Malpractice Settlements in the US
$205 Million Verdict for Birth Injuries in Maryland
A jury in Maryland awarded $229 million in July 2019 in a medical malpractice lawsuit where an infant girl suffered brain injuries during her birth at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. The award was reduced to $205 million to comply with a state cap on medical malpractice settlements.
$101 Million Verdict for Birth Injuries in Illinois
In November 2019, a jury at Cook County in Illinois awarded $101 million to a single mother whose child was born with severe brain damage in 2004. While tests during labor showed the baby wasn't moving, indicating the need for an immediate C-section; the procedure was not performed. The baby was born with severe brain damage, which prevents him from speaking, walking, or feeding himself. The plaintiff will receive $50 million because of an agreement reached by the parties to cap the total amount before the verdict.
$38.5 Million Verdict for Ethics Violation Medical Malpractice Claim in Florida
In 2008, a man in Florida started experiencing unusual shoulder clamps in his leg and shoulder. The doctor suggested manual joint manipulations, which required anesthesia. The patient suffered a stroke during the procedure and remained in a coma for four years. The doctor later admitted the procedure was unnecessary, and he was only looking to increase his income.
$23.5 Million Verdict for Birth Injuries in Illinois
In March 2019, another jury in Cook County in Illinois awarded $23.5 million to an infant who suffered serious brain damage during their birth. Lack of oxygen and a delayed C-section caused the brain injury at Presence St. Joseph Hospital.
Contact Our Chicago Medical Malpractice Lawyers Today
If you or a loved one are a victim of medical malpractice, you must stand up for your rights and fight for fair compensation. Don’t assume that you don’t have a claim or that it will be too hard or time-consuming to recover the compensation you deserve.
Our Chicago personal injury lawyers have helped many people just like you, and we have the dedication, knowledge, and resources necessary to help you get maximum compensation. Contact us today, (312) 300-2515, or chat with us online for a free case evaluation.