Medical errors are the third leading cause of death, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), just behind heart disease and cancer. In 2010, the Office of Inspector General for Health and Human Services said medical negligence contributed to the deaths of 180,000 patients in Medicare alone in a given year. But the latest numbers indicate between 210,000 and 440,000 patients die each year due to some type of preventable harm. But just because a medical error happens that does not mean that medical malpractice was necessarily involved. In order to prove a medical malpractice claim, the injured party must show the following:
- the defendant had a duty to provide the appropriate medical care;
- the defendant failed to provide the appropriate medical care; and
- the defendant’s deviation from the appropriate standard of care caused the plaintiff to sustain injuries or damages.
Although a medical error does not always amount to medical malpractice, there are certain things that you should do if you are the victim of a medical error in order to protect your rights in the event that you may have a valid claim. For instance, you should:
- Get proper medical treatment. You should promptly get the medical attention that you need in order to prevent further exacerbation of your injuries or medical condition.
- Retain medical records and bills. If you get a second opinion or need additional medical treatment to remedy a medical error, make sure to get complete medical reports that document the medical treatment needed to c0rrect the medical error. You should also save all medical bills.
- Consult with a medical malpractice attorney. A medical malpractice attorney can help you understand whether you have a viable cause of action, get you the medical treatment that you need, and advise you on the next steps. Additionally, a medical malpractice attorney can help ensure that you file the necessary legal documents within the statute of limitations so that you don’t lose out on your right to bring a claim. For instance, in Illinois, a medical malpractice lawsuit must be filed within two years of the date of that the patient became aware of, or should have become aware of, the medical negligence.
The Chicago medical malpractice law firm at Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish is committed to helping the victims of medical malpractice obtain maximum financial recovery. If successful in proving liability, you may be able to recover money damages for the following: past and future medical expenses, lost wages, loss of future income, household services, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, permanent disability, and disfigurement. If you were the victim of medical error, contact the Chicago medical malpractice lawyers at Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish to schedule a free consultation to learn more about a possible medical malpractice lawsuit. Our medical malpractice attorneys are committed to helping the victims of medical malpractice obtain money damages for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, permanent disability, disfigurement, and emotional distress. Steinberg Goodman & Kalish (www.sgklawyers.com) is dedicated to protecting victims and their families. We handle medical malpractice, product liability, personal injury, wrongful death, auto accidents, professional negligence, birth trauma, and railroad law matters. Contact us at (888) 325-7299 or (312) 445-9084.