Rock Island Medical Malpractice Attorney
When trusted doctors, medical facilities, or other health care providers fail to uphold proper treatment standards, the results can be catastrophic to patients. A serious injury or decline in health, an increase in medical expenses, and a reduction in earnings all place a substantial burden on unsuspecting victims of malpractice. Medical malpractice injuries are the third leading cause of death in America. Unfortunately, many cases go unreported, undetected, and unpunished.
A Rock Island medical malpractice attorney at Strong Law Offices can help you recover compensation for your losses and hold your healthcare provider accountable for the injuries you suffered.
Injured by a medical professional? Call the medical malpractice lawyers at Strong Law to schedule your free consultation today. (309) 688-5297
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What Is a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?
A medical malpractice lawsuit is a civil lawsuit filed against a negligent healthcare professional or facility to recover damages sustained from medical errors. These lawsuits can be filed to financially recover after surgical errors, a missed diagnosis, a birth injury, or other form of medical negligence causes injuries to a patient.
Typically, medical malpractice lawsuits start out as claims filed against negligent providers or facilities. The claim is simply a request for reimbursement for costs stemming from the associated injury or illness. If a claim settles soon enough, then it will not proceed to court and will not become a lawsuit. However, if the liable party or the insurance provider responsible for paying your claim refuses to offer a fair settlement, a medical malpractice lawyer may take your case to trial to fight for maximum compensation.
In a malpractice lawsuit, injured patients can recover various types of losses. Similar to a personal injury lawsuit, the victim’s losses are referred to as damages. Most medical malpractice settlements or awards will include compensatory damages. Punitive damages are prohibited in Illinois medical malpractice cases.
Signs of Medical Malpractice
Though medical malpractice can be hard to detect, there are some signs that can be indicative that your healthcare provider was negligent in providing your care. One of the most identifiable signs of malpractice is the lack of improvement in your health or diagnosed condition when following the treatment provided by your doctor. If your condition worsens, or a second opinion from another health care professional contradicts your original diagnosis or treatment, this can also be a sign of medical negligence. In extreme cases, a healthcare provider may show up to an appointment smelling of drugs or alcohol, or slurring his or her words. Signs of intoxication while providing medical treatment is an indicator that the health care professional is guilty of malpractice.
In addition to the above signs, the following symptoms may also indicate medical malpractice:
- You developed a severe infection while admitted to a hospital or after a surgical procedure
- The treatment you were prescribed doesn’t make sense for your diagnosis, or doesn’t align with typical treatment methods
- Your doctor hasn’t followed up on lab test results, or hasn’t ordered any tests to diagnose your condition
- Your healthcare provider did not follow up after diagnosing your condition, or after initial tests were negative
If any of the above signs were present in your case, you may have a medical negligence claim. An IL medical malpractice attorney with Strong Law can help you hold your negligent healthcare provider accountable for his or her actions, so you can recover financially for the cost of your injuries.
Common Causes of Medical Malpractice Claims
Malpractice can occur under a variety of circumstances, and can yield a plethora of injuries to mistreated patients. However, there are common themes present in medical malpractice claims in Rock Island, IL.
Misdiagnosis or Missed Diagnosis
Though it may seem harmless, an incorrect or delayed diagnosis is often a fatal form of medical negligence. When a healthcare provider fails to properly diagnose a patient, the patient’s condition may worsen as he or she was not offered the proper treatment for his or her condition in a timely manner. In commonly misdiagnosed conditions, such as cancers, heart conditions, and stroke, delayed treatment makes way for the progression of deadly symptoms that could otherwise have been treated.
When a patient is prescribed the wrong medication, his or her medical condition may go untreated, resulting in a health decline. Additionally, the side effects of the incorrect medication may cause a patient’s condition to worsen. In some cases, patients are prescribed or given the wrong dosage of medicine. Other times, medications that are harmful when combined are prescribed in conjunction with one another.
Surgical errors are a common and deadly form of medical error. These errors occur when a surgeon operates on the wrong body part, damages surrounding organs during a procedure, or leaves foreign objects behind inside the patient’s body. In extreme cases, these errors can lead to serious infections, wrong amputations, and the need for additional surgery.
Errors during childbirth
Medical errors during labor and delivery can cause lifelong injuries to infants and mothers. Birth injuries sustained by infants can cause permanent disabilities that alter the trajectory of a victim’s life. Medical negligence during birth and pregnancy includes failure to monitor the infant or mother’s condition, missing the signs of fetal distress or maternal health conditions, improper use of forceps, unreasonable force during delivery, and the failure to order a necessary c-section.
Do You Have a Rock Island Medical Malpractice Claim?
Medical mistakes are an increasingly prevalent threat to patients in American healthcare facilities. However, many cases go unreported, undetected, and unpunished because victims do not realize they have a claim. If you have suffered from any of the common symptoms of medical negligence, you may have a case against your doctor. In medical malpractice cases, there are essential factors that determine whether you have a case against a negligent healthcare provider.
The four primary elements that must be proven to demonstrate the validity of a medical malpractice claim are:
- Duty of Care: Establishing that a duty of care was owed to the patient is relatively straightforward in a medical malpractice case. The existence of a patient-provider relationship, or the fact that a health care professional began treating a patient, immediately demonstrates a duty of care.
- Breach of Duty of Care: Once the patient-provider relationship is established, it must be proven that the healthcare provider breached the acceptable standards of care. This can be examined by getting a testimony from other health care professionals stating that the defendant failed to provide treatment in alignment with what could reasonably be expected.
- The Error Caused the Injury: An adverse outcome in itself does not establish grounds for an injury claim. The healthcare professional’s negligent action or inaction must have been the root cause of the poor outcome. If substandard medical care did not cause your injury, you do not have grounds to sue.
- The Substandard Care Resulted in Damages: The patient must also have sustained damages at the hands of his or her treating health care professional. Damages typically include additional medical expenses, extended recovery time leading to lost earnings, and other financial or emotional expenses that the patient would otherwise not have endured.
Damages You Can Recover in a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
The value of your malpractice case hinges on the amount of damages you are able to recover. The amount of damages you can request depends on the severity of the injuries or illness you suffered because of the negligent health care. A medical malpractice attorney can review your case to determine how much your claim is worth.
Typically, medical malpractice settlements are awarded for compensatory damages. These damages are intended to financially compensate the victim for any emotional or financial costs he or she endured. Damages in a lawsuit are divided into two categories:
Economic damages compensate a victim for the financial costs of an injury. These damages include additional medical expenses, lost earnings, reduced earning capacity, and, in cases of wrongful death, funeral and burial expenses.
Non-economic damages account for the emotional or intangible costs of the negligent medical care. These damages typically include pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, mental health injuries, and loss of consortium.
Frequently Asked Questions About Medical Malpractice Cases in Rock Island, IL
Who can I sue in a Medical Malpractice Claim?
Any doctor, nurse, facility, or other medical professionals can be held liable through a malpractice claim. The at fault party in your case will depend on the actions or inaction that caused your injuries.
Do I Need a Lawyer for a Medical Malpractice Case?
Healthcare facilities, and those they employ, have a lot to lose when healthcare negligence allegations arise. These defendants are backed by extensive legal teams that are willing to do everything they can to dispute the validity of your claim. Without the help of a medical malpractice lawyer, you are left to fight this legal battle alone. Claims that are unrepresented are typically less successful than those filed with the help of a legal team.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice in Illinois?
The statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims in Illinois is two years from the date the malpractice or injury was discovered. There are, however, exceptions to this deadline. A statute of repose, or a maximum period of time, does apply to these cases. Regardless of when malpractice is discovered, victims cannot file suit after four years.
In cases involving minors and incapacitated victims, tolling applies, meaning that the statute of limitations is paused for a designated amount of time. If fraudulent activity was used to cover up medical mistakes, the statute of limitations will not apply.
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