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February 2015 Archives

What Is Chiropractic Malpractice?

6310985_s-300x200 (1).jpgPhoto Credit: 123RF Stock Photo[/caption] Many people see a chiropractor for the treatment of back and neck pain. In fact, by some estimates, as many as 10 to 15 percent of the U.S. population visits a chiropractor from time to time. Like all medical professionals, chiropractors are required to provide care that meets or exceeds accepted standards of care for the profession. When a chiropractor fails to provide treatment that meets this standard, he or she can be liable for any injuries that are sustained as a result of the inadequate care. Some common examples of chiropractic malpractice include:

Was that Surgery Really Necessary?

 8943758_s-200x300 (1).jpgPhoto Credit: 123RF Stock Photo[/caption] When people think of surgical malpractice, they often think of surgical "never events" (such a medical device left inside the patient), infections, or anesthesiology problems, but in some cases, surgical malpractice may involve an unnecessary surgery. Studies show that each year $700 billion is spent on unnecessary tests and treatments, and, as we reported, arthroscopic knee surgery - one of the most commonly performed surgical procedures, with 700,000 such procedures performed each year at an estimated cost of $4 billion - is frequently unnecessary. Not only are unnecessary procedures costly, but they can also expose patients to additional medical risks. For instance, CT scans may increase a person's lifetime risk of cancer and the dyes from CT scans and MRIs can cause kidney failure. Additionally, an unnecessary surgery can expose a patient to additional risks associated with being in the hospital. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, every 1.7 million people catch an infection in the hospital, such as pneumonia, surgical site infections, urinary infections from catheters, and bloodstream infections from IVs. In some cases, hospital-acquired infections involve antibiotic-resistant bacteria that can be deadly, especially to those with weakened immune systems. In many cases, unnecessary surgeries happen because a doctor lacks adequate education or patient information to make an informed recommendation. In some cases, however, greed is the cause of unnecessary tests and procedures when unscrupulous doctors and hospitals make medical decisions for their own financial gain. For instance, in 2013, doctors and executives at Chicago's Sacred Heart Hospital were charged with ordering unnecessary medical procedures, including unnecessary tracheotomies, and according to the Chicago Tribune, one doctor even overdosed patients with sedatives in order to necessitate tracheotomies and lengthy hospital stays. It is important that patients know whether a procedure is necessary and the risks involved with the procedure before agreeing to it. Patients can help minimize the risk of an unnecessary surgical procedure by seeking a second opinion. At Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish, our Chicago medical malpractice lawyers represent the victims of medical malpractice, whether a misdiagnosis, surgical error, or unnecessary medical treatment. We are dedicated to protecting injured victims and their families, and have obtained record setting and multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements on behalf of our injured clients. If you suspect that you or a loved one were the victim of medical malpractice or an unnecessary surgery, contact the Chicago medical malpractice lawyers at Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish to schedule a free consultation to discuss a possible medical malpractice claim.   Additional Information:

Facebook Users Beware: Your Status Updates and Photos Could Be Used Against You

 18514796_s-212x300.jpgImage credit: 123RF Stock Photo[/caption] Social media - including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram - are more popular than ever. In fact, some experts report that it is the most common activity that users perform online. Most people use social media with such regularity that they give little thought to the content that they are posting and the privacy settings of the platforms that they are using. Consequently, many people forget that the information that they display on social media platforms is visible to the public, which can be particularly detrimental if a person is injured in a car crash or other personal injury accident. In the course of a claim investigation, insurance companies often hire investigators to help them find information about an injury victim that could be used by the insurance company to deny or reduce the claim. The investigators often search social network sites, such as Facebook or Twitter, for information that could be used against the injured person in the course of the claim process or personal injury lawsuit. Accordingly, if you were involved in a personal injury accident, the safest thing to do is avoid all social media interactions for a period of time following the accident. If you must continue using Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms, you should take great care to control the content that is on your own profile and the content that is linked to you. Unfortunately, an estimated 25 percent of users on Facebook do not use privacy controls, which means that photos and information about the user can be seen by anyone and everyone. For instance, a defendant could use photos of you dancing at a wedding to dispute the severity of your injuries or use a status update about a family vacation to dispute the financial impact of your injuries. Other preventative actions to take with respect to social media include:

Should You Hire a Lawyer for Your Injury Claim?

 10337597_s-300x225 (1).jpg While a personal injury lawyer is not necessary for all accident claims, especially relatively minor car accidents without physical injuries, in many situations, a personal injury lawyer can be incredibly helpful. For instance, if you suffered from physical injuries, were involved in a multi-vehicle accident, were injured while on the job, or your insurance company is not fulfilling its obligations, you should contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to learn more about your rights and options. As we previously reported, if you are considering whether to hire a personal injury attorney or to handle your claim on your own, you may wish to ask yourself the following questions:

Do Not Delay After a Car Accident or Other Personal Injury

4469868_s-300x194 (1).jpgPhoto Credit: 123RF Stock Photo[/caption] If you or a loved one were in a car crash, you may be hurt, unable to work, and confused about what to do next. Unfortunately, many people delay in getting the appropriate medical treatment or legal advice following a car crash because they do not understand how important it is to act quickly to protect one's right to financial compensation. First and foremost, it is important to get prompt and necessary medical treatment. Delays in medical treatment that result in a worsening of the injury could make it more difficult to prove your case. You should see a doctor as soon as possible after a car accident or other personal injury accident not only to diagnose and treat all injuries, but to obtain a comprehensive medical record of your injuries. It is also important to contact the police, especially in the event of a car accident. A police report will likely be requested by the insurance companies in order to pay a claim and if a personal injury lawsuit is filed, a police report will be a critically important document in proving who was negligent. You should also take photos or take notes of the accident scene or circumstances surrounding the accident. It can become increasingly difficult to recall facts surrounding the accident as time goes on. By taking notes or photos, you can help refresh your memory and retain supporting evidence for your case. Depending on the severity and circumstances of your accident, you may also want to contact a personal injury lawyer. Personal injury lawsuits - including car accidents - involve an area of law called "tort law," which includes complex legal issues such as negligence, strict liability, product liability, and premises liability.  Tort laws vary from state to state so it is important to hire an attorney that understands the laws of the state in which the lawsuit will be filed. You should contact a lawyer as soon as possible so that they can communicate and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf and, if legal action is required, they can help you file a claim in the appropriate court of law. All personal injury cases have strict statutes of limitations, or time periods, during which a lawsuit can be filed. A personal injury can advise you of those time limits and ensure that you file a timely claim if necessary. At Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish, we are well-versed in the various tort laws of Illinois and we have considerable experience representing clients in complex personal injury lawsuits, including those involving medical malpractice, brain injuries, nursing home abuse, wrongful death, serious automobile accidents and commercial trucking accidents. We seek maximum financial recovery from negligent parties and if a favorable settlement is not possible, we will vigorously pursue your case in a court of law. If you were injured or a loved one died in a car accident or other personal injury accident, do not delay. Contact the Chicago accident attorneys at Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish at (888) 325-7299 to schedule a free consultation to discuss a possible personal injury lawsuit. Additional Information:

Tailgating, Speeding, and Other Auto Accident Risks

 pSpeedometerFast_Depositphotos_10955989_m-300x300.jpg Auto accident risks run the gamut, but some of the most common auto accident risks are also some of the most frequent infractions, such as tailgating and speeding. In fact, tailgating and speeding have become so commonplace on America's roadways that few people even realize that they are significantly increasing their risk of an auto accident. According to a study from Drivecam, Inc., a global driver risk management company, drivers are at the highest risk of rear-ending a vehicle when they are following less than 2 seconds behind the vehicle in front of them. Another common culprit of car crashes is the failure to use turn signals. As we reported, a study conducted by the Society of Automotive Engineers found that nearly 2 million accidents a year are caused by drivers' failure to use a turn signal. An MSNBC article states that research shows that more than twice as many accidents are caused by drivers who fail to use their turn signal than distracted driving.  In fact, drivers fail to use their turn signals nearly half of the time they change lanes, and a quarter of the time that they make a turn.

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