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September 2013 Archives

Role of Medical Experts in Medical Malpractice Cases

Medical malpractice lawsuits involve a great deal of highly technical medical information, in addition to the legal analysis and assessment. In order to prove a medical malpractice claim, the plaintiff must show the following:

  • The health care provider had a responsibility to the patient to provide the appropriate treatment;

  • The healthcare provider did not provide the appropriate treatment;

  • The patient suffered an injury; and

  • The patient's injury was caused by the health care provider's failure to provide appropriate treatment.

A medical expert is often necessary in order to address two key questions with respect to the plaintiff's claim, namely:

  • Did the health care provider meet the standard of care? To address this question, the medical expert will testify about the treatment that a competent doctor would have provided in a similar situation and give his or her opinion about whether the defendant met that standard of care or not. Since there are no absolute rules about the standard of care in a given situation, medical experts often rely on medical publications, medical board guidelines, and previous experience when providing his or her opinion.

  • Did the health care provider's failure to meet the standard of care cause the plaintiff's injuries? The medical expert will also testify about whether the health care provider's failure to meet the appropriate standard of care resulted in injuries to the patient. Since a patient's injuries can be caused by medical negligence, as well as factors that are out of the health care provider's control, the medical expert will explain how likely it is that the health care provider's actions or inactions were the cause of the patient's injuries.

Without adequate evidence to prove that the patient's injury was caused by the health care provider's actions or inaction, the judge will dismiss the case. For this reason, medical experts often play a big role in any medical malpractice lawsuit. Although a jury is not obligated to take the medical expert's opinion as truth, it is required to consider the medical expert's along with the rest of the evidence provided.

The Dangerous Effects of Cognitive Distractions While Driving

We all know that talking on a cell phone and texting are dangerous and risky activities while driving. In fact, distracted driving is one of the leading causes of auto accidents. But new research shows that the dangerous of distracted driving extend far beyond just visual and manual distractions and recent AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety research shows that even mental tasks - or cognitive distractions - can impair a driver's ability to operate the vehicle safely.

Medical Malpractice Myths

A number of myths continue to persist regarding medical malpractice lawsuits. The Chicago medical malpractice lawyers at Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish are committed to protecting the victims of medical malpractice and to educating the public regarding the risks of medical negligence. Below are some common medical malpractice myths and the truth behind those myths.

Dangers of Concussions and Other Head Injuries

Concussions may seem like a relatively minor and common injury, but in reality, concussions are a traumatic brain injury that can cause serious medical problems if not properly treated. Concussions can be caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, as well as a fall or a blow to the body that causes the head to move rapidly back and forth. Concussions are often sustained in car accidents, falls, and sports activities.

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