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Chicago Medical Malpractice Attorneys: When Medical Professionals Are Negligent

Your medical provider has a legal duty to provide you with the standard of care expected from someone in their capacity. They failed in that duty. Now, it’s our job to make sure you recover fair compensation. Our medical malpractice attorneys at Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish hold negligent doctors, hospitals and other health care providers accountable for their mistakes.

When you entrust health care professionals with your care, you expect them to act with knowledge, experience and professionalism. When a medical professional or another health care provider makes a mistake, patients like you are often left with serious injuries. In the worst of cases, wrongful death is the result. Medical mistakes cause at least 250,000 deaths annually.

The lawyers at Steinberg Goodman & Kalish have recovered millions of dollars for our clients, including multimillion-dollar verdicts and settlements. Read more about our medical malpractice case results here.

What Is Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional or facility provides substandard care to a patient, and as a result, the patient suffers serious injuries. If you suffered injuries that were caused by your health care provider’s failure to deliver the expected standard of care, you likely have a medical malpractice case.

Different Types Of Medical Malpractice Cases

Medical malpractice cases can take many forms. Some medical malpractice claims and lawsuits arise in the emergency room when a negligent doctor or another medical professional makes a mistake. Other times, surgical errors, dangerous medical devices, medication errors or birth injuries cause malpractice victims to suffer harm.

Some of the most common cases our Chicago medical malpractice lawyers handle involve:

Delayed Diagnosis

Delayed diagnosis may result in conditions going untreated. This type of medical malpractice occurs when physicians overlook symptoms and do not diagnose a patient’s medical condition in a timely manner. When such delays keep patients from receiving necessary medical treatment, serious injury or even wrongful death may occur.

Delayed diagnosis differs from misdiagnosis. Misdiagnosis refers to situations in which the cause of a patient’s symptoms is incorrectly identified. In cases where the victim’s symptoms are wrongly diagnosed, medical providers incorrectly treat the victim’s symptoms as those of another condition.

Medication Errors

Numerous types of health care providers may be liable in medical malpractice lawsuits involving medication errors. Pharmacists, doctors, nurses, anesthesiologists and others may be charged with making sure medications are correctly prescribed, delivered and administered to patients. When failures happen, they may cause serious personal injury or wrongful death for patients.

Medication errors occur for numerous reasons. Some of the most common causes of this type of medical malpractice include:

  • Labeling mistakes
  • Mixing up charts or medical records
  • Inattentiveness
  • Failing to screen for adverse recreational or prescription drug use
  • Illegible handwriting
  • Administering the medication at the wrong time or via the wrong method

Surgical Errors

Surgical procedures don’t always have the intended outcome, and those events are often outside the surgeon and medical team’s control. However, other times, preventable mistakes are made during surgeries that may cause patients substantial pain and discomfort and, in some cases, even wrongful death. Types of surgical errors may include performing the wrong procedure, performing the procedure on the wrong body part, leaving a foreign object inside the patient or neglecting to provide appropriate postoperative care. When surgical mistakes occur, patients may need additional procedures or treatment to correct the effects.

Radiology Errors

Radiology is a field of medicine that deals with diagnostic imaging and the interpretation of those images. Errors during radiological exams occur when radiologists misread or misinterpret diagnostic films, such as X-rays, CT scans, MRIs, ultrasounds and sonograms. Mistakes in reading these types of scans may result in conditions going undiagnosed or the misdiagnosis of conditions.

Hospital Infections

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately one out of every 31 hospitalized patients on any given day has at least one hospital-acquired infection.

Some of the most commonly contracted hospital-acquired infections include:

  • Clostridium difficile
  • Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus
  • Central line-associated bloodstream infection
  • Pneumonia
  • Sepsis or bacteremia

The broad term “hospital-acquired infections” refers to several infections typically contracted while patients receive treatment at health care facilities, including hospitals and nursing homes. With appropriate cleanliness and care, however, most of these types of illnesses are preventable.

Failure To Monitor

An essential aspect of caring for patients includes monitoring them during and after administering treatment. Should they fail to do so, the consequences may be dire for patients. Appropriate monitoring includes routinely checking patients’ vital signs, reviewing patient medical histories, reviewing test and lab reports, watching for signs of adverse reactions and taking other preventative measures to help ensure patients’ well-being.

When medical providers fail to monitor those in their care, patients may suffer complications, serious injuries or conditions or death.

We help families navigate wrongful death lawsuits when these or other instances of health care provider or facility negligence cause the death of patients. Our medical malpractice lawyers provide the compassionate and thorough counsel that spouses, children and parents who have lost loved ones due to doctor errors need and deserve to get through these difficult times.

How Can Our Medical Malpractice Lawyers In Chicago Help You?

At Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish, our attorneys have been recognized as some of the best medical malpractice lawyers in Chicago. We take on some of the most complicated medical malpractice cases involving area hospitals, nursing homes, doctors and other medical professionals, and we win. How do we do it?

When people in our community suffer harm at the hands of medical providers, our medical malpractice attorneys take their injuries personally. Our law firm works with top medical experts to help us identify what is wrong and who may be liable for our clients’ injuries. Our proven medical malpractice attorneys have extensive trial experience, and we don’t back down to large medical providers or their insurance companies.

Holding Nursing Homes Accountable For Medical Malpractice

Maltreatment of residents in long-term care facilities and assisted living homes can take many forms. Nursing home negligence may include not providing assistance with regular hygiene, neglecting to regularly adjust the positions of residents with limited or no mobility, failing to help residents eat or drink and not providing adequate medical care. When nursing home negligence involves substandard medical treatment or the lack of access to necessary medical treatment, victims may have grounds for medical malpractice lawsuits. If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a nursing home in Chicago, an experienced medical malpractice attorney at our law firm can help you obtain compensation.

Winning Illinois Birth Injury Claims

Did your baby suffer birth injuries caused by medical malpractice? Without an experienced Chicago medical malpractice attorney on your side, you could be looking at footing the bill for hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars in medical expenses, ongoing care and modifications to your home. If your child was harmed because of substandard prenatal care or medical mistakes during labor and delivery, our medical malpractice lawyers can help you recover fair compensation.

Mistakes and negligence during pregnancy or the labor and delivery process may cause a wide range of birth injuries. Our medical malpractice lawyers have experience pursuing the rights of children and their families in cases involving:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Facial nerve palsy
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Brachial plexus injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Shoulder dystocia and collarbone fractures

Holding Medical Professionals Liable For Negligence

If you suffer an adverse health event because of medical mistakes, you may experience significant financial stress in addition to the physical and emotional challenges caused by your injury or illness. Don’t let the insurance company minimize your losses. Injured victims who are left with a serious medical condition, like a brain injury or a permanent disability, may need ongoing medical treatment, consultations with medical experts, multiple surgeries, in-home nursing care and special medical equipment to help them stay alive.

Our medical malpractice lawyers don’t believe you and your family should have to pay for the mistakes a medical professional made. When you hire a medical malpractice attorney at our law firm, we will make sure the parties who contributed to causing your injuries are held accountable for the harm they caused.

Determining Liability For Health Care Negligence

Several parties may be liable in medical malpractice claims and lawsuits. Attorneys who handle medical malpractice cases will help you determine liability and take legal action against:

  • Physicians
  • Nurses
  • Technicians and aides
  • Health care facilities
  • Nursing homes or long-term care residences

Varying factors may contribute to medical negligence – from staffing shortages and inadequate safety protocols to fatigue or lack of appropriate training. Your medical malpractice lawyers in Chicago, Illinois, will look at the cause of the negligence to determine if the health care provider, facility or both have liability for your damages.

Damages Available To Medical Malpractice Victims

If you suffer harm because of medical negligence, you may seek compensation for your associated losses. Patients who suffer from medical malpractice may be eligible to receive compensation for their economic losses. These may include damages for loss of income, loss of future earnings, medical bills and other out-of-pocket expenses.

In addition to economic losses, you may also recover damages for noneconomic losses through a medical malpractice claim in Chicago, Illinois. Noneconomic damages include those losses without tangible values, such as pain and suffering, loss of consortium and disfigurement.

The Four D’s Of Negligence In A Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

If you suffered harm because of doctor errors or other issues with your medical care and want to recover damages, you will need to prove the four D’s of negligence in order to show that malpractice occurred. Our medical malpractice legal team will help you understand these elements as they apply to your case and, more importantly, how to prove them.

Proving Your Medical Negligence Claim

To recover damages in a medical malpractice case, your medical malpractice lawyer will have to prove the following four D’s of negligence:

  1. Duty
  2. Deviation from the standard
  3. Damages
  4. Direct cause

Duty

The first D of medical negligence you will prove in medical malpractice cases is the duty of care. To recover damages for harm suffered at the hands of a medical professional or facility, your medical malpractice lawyers must first establish that the provider owed you a duty of care. This is an obligation taken on by those in the medical field when they accept a patient. Therefore, anyone involved with your treatment or care, by participating, has a responsibility to you.

Proving A Duty Of Care

To prove that a medical provider accepted responsibility for your treatment and, thus, owed you a duty of care, you will need to establish the provider-patient relationship. To this end, you might present medical records, facility shift records and other documentation to indicate the defendant’s participation in your treatment.

The Standard Of Care

With regard to medical care, the accepted standard is held to be the care another reasonable and judicious provider would render in the same or similar circumstances. For example, this may include not ordering a particular test that would be indicated based on a patient’s symptoms and providing an earlier diagnosis if performed.

Deviation From The Standard Of Care

The next element of negligence that your malpractice case will need to prove is that the health care providers or facility deviated from the acceptable standard in rendering your care. To this end, you will need to have evidence of the care you received as well as of the standards to demonstrate where and how the treatment you received diverged from them.

The affidavit for medical malpractice and working with health care experts often prove vital evidence to support a medical malpractice case.

The Illinois Affidavit For Medical Malpractice

Illinois law requires you to submit an affidavit of merit with your medical malpractice action. This sworn statement, prepared by your medical malpractice lawyer in Chicago, Illinois, will swear that a qualified medical expert was consulted prior to the filing of the lawsuit.

With the affidavit for medical malpractice, you will also include a written report from the professional who was consulted. It should include the provider’s opinion that the case against each listed defendant has credible merit and reasonable cause.

To provide a sworn statement for a medical malpractice claim, physicians must meet certain criteria. This includes having practiced or taught within the last six years in the area of medicine directly involved in the case and having knowledge of the issues relevant to the issue of the case.

Causation

Proving that a deviation in the standard of care occurred and that you suffered harm is not enough. Rather, the final D of negligence your case must establish is direct cause. The supporting evidence and arguments in your case will need to prove a direct causal link between the deviation and your injury. Further, your case must show that you incurred damages because of the negligence and your resulting injuries.

To argue against your claim, the defense might suggest you did not follow medical advice. Therefore, part of the supporting documentation and other evidence you put forth in your case might include progress notes that discuss your treatment progress and compliance, as well as statements from family, friends or coworkers that note your participation in the treatment plan as advised by your treating physician.

Damages

Finally, the last element you must prove is damages. You and your attorney will show that you suffered actual economic and noneconomic losses as a result of the medical negligence you experienced.

Calculating economic damages will involve recording and totaling your expenses, such as medical bills and lost wages. To determine lost future earnings or earning potential, your lawyer will take into account factors such as your age, education level, occupation, work history and earnings history.

Without specific values, calculating noneconomic damages is a bit more complicated. Often, personal injury law representatives use the multiplier method to assign a dollar amount to these nontangible losses. The multiplier method totals the value of your economic losses. Then, based on the severity of the injury, a factor between one and five is assigned. That factor is applied to the value of your total economic losses to calculate a figure for your noneconomic damages.

For example, you pay $30,000 in medical expenses and lose $6,000 in wages while recovering. Due to your injury, you will have a permanent limp, and therefore, your injury is assigned a factor of four. Multiplying your total economic losses of $36,000 by the factor of four, you may ask for $144,000 in noneconomic damages.

Medical Malpractice And Medical Negligence FAQs

In the aftermath of a medical mistake that causes harm, patients often don’t know where to turn or how to get the help they need. Below are some questions frequently asked of our medical malpractice team at the Chicago law firm of Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish. Our attorneys are prepared to take your case and advocate on your behalf; contact us today, and we will be happy to answer your questions and concerns.

What is the time limit for filing a medical malpractice claim?

Illinois imposes a statute of limitations on medical malpractice cases. Under most circumstances, you have two years from the date you suffered harm or from when you discovered that medical negligence caused your injury to take legal action. If you file outside the allowed time frame, the court may dismiss your case.

There are exceptions to the two-year statute of limitations. Anyone under the age of 18 at the time of a medical negligence injury has up to eight years after the incident date to file a medical malpractice claim. However, they must file before turning 22 years old.

I signed an informed consent form. Will that bar me from recovering damages?

The consent form informs you of the potential risks associated with the procedure or treatment you will receive and gives your permission with this knowledge. While failing to obtain informed consent may amount to medical negligence on the part of a health care professional, signing this form does not necessarily prevent you from seeking to recover compensation for malpractice.

Consent forms only provide certain indemnity to health care professionals and facilities. By signing such a form, you acknowledge having received a warning of the potential adverse outcomes and waive your right to take legal action if you suffer such effects. It does not, however, prevent you from filing a medical malpractice lawsuit for negligence that occurs during such a procedure and causes you injury or illness.

How much is my medical malpractice claim worth?

The value of damages you recover in your medical malpractice claim will depend on several factors. There is no set range for these types of cases, as factors including the severity and type of injury or illness you suffered, your total economic losses and the value of your noneconomic losses will all contribute to the damages you are able to recover.

Is there a limit on the damages I can recover?

No, Illinois does not cap the damages you can recover through a medical malpractice lawsuit. Therefore, you may seek financial compensation for your full economic and noneconomic losses to be made as close to financially whole as possible.

What Should You Do If You Suspect Medical Malpractice?

If you suspect medical negligence caused your adverse health effects, you’re likely unsure of where to turn or how to move forward. Taking the following steps may help you protect your rights and interests:

  • Seek assistance from another physician
  • Consult with a Chicago medical malpractice lawyer
  • Do not discuss your suspicions or make accusations against the involved health care providers or facility
  • Request copies of your medical records
  • Refrain from posting allegations on social media or elsewhere online
  • Keep a journal of your experience, including details on what happened, your symptoms and the effect of the malpractice on your life

Taking the right steps after suffering injury or illness due to a medical mistake will play a vital role in helping to recover the damages you are owed.

If you suffered harm at the hands of the health care professionals entrusted with your care, please contact us online to schedule your free consultation. Our medical malpractice lawyers can also be reached by calling 872-270-3625.

Schedule A Free Consultation With A Medical Malpractice Attorney

Our medical malpractice lawyers offer a free initial consultation and case evaluation. To schedule your free appointment, contact us at 872-270-3625 or send us an email through our website. We look forward to telling you more about how we can help you with your potential claims.