Peoria Medical Malpractice Attorney
If you suffered injuries or your loved one was killed because of a healthcare provider’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. The medical malpractice attorneys at Strong Law Offices have over 25 years of experience handling these types of injury and wrongful death claims.
To find out more about how our medical malpractice lawyers can help, call us for a free, no-obligation consultation.
Table of Contents
What Is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice lawyers see these types of cases arise when a doctor, hospital, medical provider, or other healthcare professional causes an injury by deviating from a reasonable and ordinary standard of care required for that medical professional.
Many types of medical malpractice can cause lawsuits to arise. These include, but are not limited to:
- Failure to diagnose an illness
- Failure to perform treatment
- Injuries occurring during the birth of a child
- Drug and/or prescription errors
- Surgical errors
- Failure to perform reasonable and ordinary medical treatment when such treatment should have been offered
Types of Medical Malpractice
Misdiagnosis as Medical Malpractice
Misdiagnosis can happen in emergency rooms, doctor’s offices, hospital labs, and in all medical fields. Missed or mistaken diagnosis is a common reason for nursing home abuse injuries, birth injury, and hospital malpractice injuries. A missed or late diagnosis can lead to serious injury or wrongful death. Some of the most commonly misdiagnosed medical conditions are:
Missed or delayed diagnosis can cause the loss of valuable time in the treatment of the disease. Untimely diagnosis of some conditions like breast, prostate, lung, skin, ovarian, and other types of cancer can turn a treatable disease into a terminal condition.
Our medical malpractice law firm obtains a complete set of medical records to help determine whether similarly, qualified healthcare professionals should have reasonably made the correct diagnosis in time for treatment to have been performed.
Additionally, expert witness consultations are necessary to obtain opinions as to whether medical providers deviated from accepted standards of medical care that lead to a misdiagnosis and cut short the treatment time that could have been used to cure or minimize cancer or another medical condition diagnosis.
Medical Malpractice And Birth Injuries
Injuries occurring to the child and/or to the mother during the course of birth can cause lifelong injuries or even death. The following are common in birth injury examples our medical malpractice lawyers see arise because of medical negligence.
Our medical malpractice attorneys collect evidence to determine whether the hospital staff physician performing the delivery, anesthesiologists, or other associated medical professionals deviated from the standard of care that a reasonably qualified medical provider in the same or similar profession should have performed. Our legal team also acquires a complete set of medical records and consults with expert witnesses in the same or a similar profession when determining whether a medical malpractice claim exists for injuries caused during the birth of a child.
Emergency Room Malpractice
A trip to the emergency room can be a frightening experience. Most people enter the emergency room with serious injuries or illnesses. Patients expect that emergency room physicians are properly trained and have the ability to diagnose conditions and administer medical treatment. Emergency rooms are fast-paced and demanding environments, increasing the risk of critical medical errors that can cause severe, permanent, or life-threatening injuries.
Common medical errors in emergency rooms include, but are not limited to:
- Delays in running medical tests
- Mistakes in interpreting medical tests
- Delays in providing medical treatment
- Medication errors
- Not listening to a patient’s symptoms or medical history
- Discharging patients due to lack of insurance
- Hand-off errors or errors made during the transfer of patients when work shifts change
Because doctors and medical providers tend to be trusted persons in the eyes of the public, medical malpractice claims can be difficult to navigate and present to juries. To successfully recover compensation in a medical malpractice or medical error claim, hiring an experienced medical malpractice lawyer who is familiar with the proper methods of investigation and how to locate experts in the same or similar fields for medical opinions and testimony is essential.
Hospital Negligence and Malpractice
When injured or ill patients check into a hospital, they should be able to trust that the facility is providing qualified and experienced staff to render medical care and/or assistance. When patients are injured or killed because hospital staff members are negligent, unqualified, or reckless with treatment, a medical malpractice lawyer may be able to help ensure staff members and hospitals are held liable.
During hospital visits, patients may encounter many types of medical professionals, including medical assistants, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, radiologists, anesthesiologists, physicians, lab technicians, pharmacists, administrative personnel, insurance specialists, security personnel, and a wide range of other hospital staff members.
Oftentimes, when people are injured or ill and receiving medical care in a hospital setting, so many professionals are encountered that patients do not recall names. For this reason, it is important to acquire a complete set of medical records. Every effort should be made to identify all parties the patient encounters during the hospital stay so anyone who may have contributed to the negligence can be held accountable.
Hospitals sometimes use the services of outside or independent contractors or subcontractors to render medical care for patients. If the negligent healthcare providers are not direct employees of the hospital, but rather an independent contractor or contracting company, the contracting agency may be able to be held liable for any injuries caused.
Hospital and Staff Negligence Takes Many Forms
Examples of hospital malpractice include:
- A nurse failing to report an accurate medical history or condition to the doctor
- Failure to identify and appropriately treat infections
- The hospital pharmacy failing to correctly fill prescriptions as prescribed by the physicians
- Failure of the hospital staff to assist or render medical attention in emergency situations
- Failure to properly monitor patients during surgical procedures, resulting in falls off of operating tables or slip and falls in showers or bathroom visits during the hospital stay
According to recent research from Johns Hopkins University, surgical errors occur more than 4,000 times each year in the United States. At least 39 times each week, foreign objects like towels and sponges are left inside patients. Approximately 20 times per week, surgeons operate on the wrong body part or patient or perform the wrong surgery entirely.
Examples of surgical errors that may constitute medical malpractice include:
- Performing unnecessary surgery
- Damaging organs, nerves, or tissues during surgery
- Using non-sterile surgical instruments
- Leaving medical equipment or products inside the patient
- Proving inadequate and unreasonable medical care postoperatively
- Performing an incorrect procedure
- Performing a procedure on the incorrect body part
Mistakes by Anesthesiologists
Mistakes by an anesthesiologist can cause brain injuries and even death. Examples of errors made by anesthesiologists include:
- Failure to review a patient’s records for possible risk factors
- Administering an incorrect, inadequate or excessive amount of anesthesia
- Failure to monitor vital signs
- Use improper or defective equipment
- Otherwise, render unreasonable anesthesiology services
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Affidavits of Merit and the use of Expert Witnesses in Medical Malpractice Cases
Medical malpractice claims are unique in Illinois in that the civil procedure for filing a lawsuit requires that an affidavit be signed and attached to the lawsuit. The affidavit must indicate that the medical records, medical care, treatment, and facts and circumstances have been reviewed by a medical expert and/or medical doctor to certify that there is a reasonable and meritorious cause of action for medical malpractice. An expert in the same or similar field should be consulted to receive medical opinions prior to the filing of a lawsuit.
Medical malpractice claims are vigorously defended by negligent healthcare providers, malpractice insurance carriers, and self-insured hospital systems even in light of facts that demonstrate complete negligence. In many cases, negligent medical providers are hesitant to consent to settlements, as settlements are often required to be reported to a licensing authority or affiliated organization.
Areas Our Medical Malpractice Lawyers Serve
The medical malpractice attorneys at Strong Law Offices provide legal representation to injured patients in Peoria, Springfield, Bloomington, Chicago, Champaign, and the surrounding communities. Our law firm offers free case evaluations. Evening, weekend, and off-site appointments are available on request.
Our malpractice attorneys also represent victims in the following practice areas. We are: