Medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death in the United States, with estimates indicating that between 210,000 and 440,000 patients die each year due to some type of medical error. Thousands of additional patients are injured as a result of medical malpractice as well. If you suspect that you or a loved one might have been the victim of medical malpractice, there are certain things you should do in order to protect your rights, including:
- 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.
- Get a second opinion. Evidence shows that second opinions can lead to significant changes in a patient’s diagnosis or in recommendations for treating a disease, particularly with respect to radiology images and biopsy pathology slides.
- 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.
- File a claim with applicable statute of limitations. In order to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit, the injured party must file a lawsuit within the applicable statute of limitations. In Illinois, a medical malpractice lawsuit without death must be filed within two years of the date the patient became aware of, or should have become aware of, the medical negligence. If the patient dies, however, the wrongful death medical malpractice lawsuit must be filed within two years of the date of the patient’s death.
- Be patient. A medical malpractice lawsuit can take years to resolve. Before a lawsuit can even be filed, an investigation will take place to determine the viability of a claim. Then, once the lawsuit is filed, the defendant then has the opportunity to file an answer, after which discovery will take place. Depending on the number of witnesses that are involved, discovery can sometimes take several months. Moreover, settlement negotiations may take place throughout the process which may result in delayed witness depositions during discovery. Once discovery is concluded, the case will then move on to trial if no settlement is reached. It is important that you stay patient and understand that the scales of justice move slowly sometimes.
Pursuing a medical malpractice lawsuit can be confusing and stressful, but a medical malpractice lawyer can help you navigate the legal system and protect your rights. The Chicago medical malpractice lawyers at Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish are committed to guiding clients through the process and fighting for maximum money damages. Contact our office at (888) 325-7299 schedule a free consultation to discuss a possible medical malpractice claim. Contact our office at (312) 445-9084 to schedule a free consultation with one of our Chicago medical malpractice lawyers. 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.