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June 2014 Archives

When Obstetrical Negligence Results in a Birth Injury

16160663_s-199x300.jpgA birth injury is absolutely devastating for parents and the entire family.  Although some birth injuries occur through the fault of no one, in some cases, a birth injury may be the result of obstetrical negligence, which is a type of medical malpractice. Common types of obstetrical negligence include:

Why You Need to Act Quickly Following a Personal Injury Accident

10422524_s-300x199.jpgIf you were injured in a personal injury accident, you are probably confused about what to do next. You may be wondering whether you are able to recover compensation for your injuries. You may be wondering whether you should file a lawsuit or take other legal action.  And you may be wondering what to do next. Many times, when people are unsure about what to do or whether they should pursue legal action, they chose the path of inaction. Unfortunately, this is often the wrong course of action and a mistake that could cost you the right to recover compensation of any kind. It is very important that you contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible following a personal injury accident, such as a car accident, trucking accident, or medical error, for a number of reasons. First, there are strict time limitations on when a lawsuit can be filed and if you do not file a claim within the applicable statute of limitations, you will lose your right to seek compensation in a court of law. The applicable statute of limitations varies depending on the jurisdiction, the defendant, and the cause of action. In Illinois, a personal injury lawsuit must be filed within two years of the date of the accident or, in the case of medical malpractice, two years from the date that the patient became aware of, or should have become aware of, the medical error. If a personal injury accident or medical error results in death, however, the wrongful death lawsuit must be filed within two years of the date of the decedent's death. Second, it is important to act quickly following a personal injury accident in order to collect necessary evidence and conduct a thorough factual investigation. Depending on the cause of action, a significant amount of evidence may need to be gathered, some of which may run the risk of spoliation if it is not collected quickly. For instance, if you were injured in a car accident, police reports, photos of the accident, medical receipts, property damage receipts, and medical records will all need to be preserved and if this information is not preserved in a timely manner, it may not be available when you need it.

What Is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

4469868_s-300x194.jpgThe death of a loved one is always difficult. But when that death occurs prematurely as a result of someone's negligence, there may be a number of other issues involved - such as confusion and anger. If you have lost a loved one as a result of someone else's negligence, you may be wondering: Can the negligent party be held responsible? What legal rights do I have? And what should I do now? When a death is caused by negligence, the term "wrongful death" is often used. Basically, wrongful death is a legal term used to describe the type of legal action that may be pursued by the legal representatives of the decedent. A wrongful death lawsuit is a type of personal injury lawsuit and requires that the plaintiff prove the following:

What to Do If You Suspect Medical Malpractice

4263660_s-300x300.jpg Image credit: cardmaverick/123RF Stock Photo[/caption] In some cases, medical malpractice is the obvious cause of an injury or death. In many causes, however, medical malpractice is not readily apparent. In fact, many patients who are the victims of a medical error may by unaware that medical malpractice was involved. Medical malpractice is when a doctor, hospital, or other medical professional fails to provide the appropriate medical care. The medical treatment must be negligent, however, and not just worse than you may have been received from another doctor or hospital.In order to sustain a claim for medical malpractice, you must show that the doctor or health care provider deviated from medically-accepted standards. It is not enough to show that another doctor had more experience or would have done something different. If you suspect that you may have been the victim of a medical error that amounted to medical malpractice, you should:

The Dangers of Unsterile Surgical Instruments and Other Surgical Errors

8943758_s-200x300.jpg When a patient undergoes surgery, he or she may be concerned about the recovery process or the prospects of going under anesthesia, but patients shouldn't have to worry about whether or not the surgical instruments that are being used are sterile. Unfortunately, dirty and unsterile surgical instruments are sometimes used, resulting in serious infection and potentially fatal outcomes. In fact, in 2012, NBC News reported that "investigations in hospitals across the country have revealed the use of other dirty surgical instruments, such as endoscopes used for colonoscopies, have led to infection outbreaks." Doctors and hospitals have an obligation to provide adequate and appropriate treatment and avoid preventable medical error. When unsterile surgical instruments or other surgical error causes the patient to suffer injury or death, medical malpractice is likely involved. Medical malpractice happens any time a doctor or health care provider fails to provide the appropriate standard of care and the patient is injured as a result. If a doctor or hospital is found liable for medical malpractice, the patient may be able to recover compensatory damages for medical bills, lost wages, disability, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. As we reported, recent data shows that about 80 "never events" - such as surgical instruments left inside the patient and the wrong surgery performed - occur every weekResearch conducted by Johns Hopkins University found that surgical "never events" happen at least 4,000 times a year in the United States and more than 80,000 "never events" occurred between 1990 and 2010. The Johns Hopkins research also showed that:

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